Confidentiality of sources paper | BSCOM415 Communication Law | University of Phoenix


Prepare a  1,400- to 1,750-word, three-part research paper. Address the specifics  within your paper of each of the following questions below as they  pertain to Branzburg v. Hayes, Confidentiality, and Shield Laws. Ensure that your paper also demonstrates your understanding of the following dimensions:

  • The Legal implications of the use of traditional media as it relates to this case (verbal, non-verbal/symbolic and written)
  • The Legal implications of the use of new and social media (verbal,  non-verbal/symbolic and written) potentially affecting a reporter’s  privilege.
  • The confidentiality and shield laws applying to journalism and
  • The differences and relationship between Law and Ethics as it applies in this case.  
    • Branzburg v. Hayes (Ch. 9 of the text)
    • What did the court decide in Branzburg v. Hayes regarding a journalist’s right to withhold confidential sources?
    • How have lower courts interpreted the Branzburg v. Hayes decision based on whether the cases involved civil, criminal, or grand jury proceedings?
    • Confidentiality (Ch. 10 of the text)
    • Summarize the approach journalists should take pertaining to promising confidentiality to sources.
    • What advice should journalists give to sources who demand confidentiality?
    • Shield laws (Ch. 10 of the text)
    • There are no uniform shield laws. They vary from state to state and  vary between courts. Journalists typically operate at a local level  where they may or may not be protected by state shield laws.
    • What protections do shield laws provide, if any, in addition to  federal constitutional protections supporting nondisclosure of news  sources? Explain your response

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