44 Mo. L. Rev. 297 (1979)
Search of the Newsroom: The Battle for a Reporter's Privilege Moves to New Ground

handle is hein.journals/molr44 and id is 307 raw text is: SEARCH OF THE NEWSROOM: THE
BATTLE FOR A REPORTER'S PRIVILEGE
.MOVES TO NEW GROUND
The resolve of the press to advance claims of constitutional immunity
to subpoenas' and the presence of shield laws protecting the confidentiali-
ty of news sources2 have led law enforcement officials to seek new ways of
acquiring information from uncooperative journalists.3 One resort has
1. See, e.g., Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S. 665 (1972); United States v.
Steelhammer, 539 F.2d 373 (4th Cir. 1976); Herbert v. Lando, 73 F.R.D. 387
(S.D.N.Y. 1977); Gilbert v. Allied Chemical Corp., 411 F. Supp. 505 (E.D. Va.
1976); Apel v. Murphy, 70 F.R.D. 651 (D.R.I. 1976); Branzburg v. Pound, 461
S.W.2d 345 (Ky. 1970).
2. Twenty-six states now have shield laws limiting forced disclosure of jour-
nalists' confidential sources and information. ALA. CODE tit. 7, § 370 (1960);
ALASKA STAT. § 09.25.150-.220 (1973); ARIZ. REV. STAT. ANN. § 12-2237 (West
Supp. 1974-75); ARK. STAT. ANN. § 43-917 (1977); CAL. EVID. CODE § 1070
(West Supp. 1978) DEL. CODE ANN. tit. 10., §§ 4320-4326 (Supp. 1974); ILL.
ANN. STAT. ch. 51, §§ 111-119 (Smith-Hurd Supp. 1978); IND. CODE§ 34-3-5-1
(1971), IND. CODE ANN. § 2-1733 (Burns Supp. 1973); KY. REV. STAT. § 421.100
(1970); LA. REV. STAT. ANN. § 45.1451-.1454 (West Supp. 1978); MD. CTS. &
JUD. PROD. CODE ANN. § 9-112 (1971); MICH. STAT. ANN. § 28.945(1) (1972);
MINN. STAT. ANN. § 595.021-.025 (Supp. 1976); MONT. REV. CODES ANN. §
93.601-1 to .601-2, .701-4.8 (1964 & Supp. 1973); NEB. REV. STAT. §§ 20-144 to
-147 (Supp. 1974); NEV. REV. STAT. § 49.275 (1975); N.J. STAT. ANN. § 2A:84A-
21 to -28 (1976); N.M. STAT. ANN. § 20-1-12.1 (Supp. 1975); N.Y. CIV. RIGHTS
LAW § 79-h (McKinney Supp. 1978-79); N.D. CENT. CODE § 31-01-06.2 (Supp.
1977); OHIO REV. CODEANN. § 2739.12 (1954); OKLA. STAT. ANN. tit. 12, § 2506
(Supp. 1978-79); OR. REV. STAT. § 44.510-.540 (1977); PA. STAT. ANN. tit. 28, §
330 (Purdon Supp. 1978-79); R.I. GEN. LAWS ANN. § 9-19.1-1 to -3 (Supp.
1975); TENN. CODE ANN. §§ 24-113 to -115 (Supp. 1975).
For a comparative analysis of all but the Oklahoma act, see Comment,
Newsman's Priilege Two Years After Branzburg v. Hayes: The First Amend-
ment in Jeopardy, 49 TUL. L. REV. 417 (1975). Congress has enacted no statute
giving reporters a testimonial privilege in federal court, but the Department of
Justice has issued guidelines regulating employee requests for issuance of sub-
poenas to members of the news media. All such requests must have the express
authorization of the Attorney General. Department of Justice Order 544-73, 28
C.F.R. § 50.10 (1977). However, failure of a department official to obtain
authorization is no defense to a subpoena. See In re Horn, 458 F.2d 468, 473 (3d
Cir. 1972).
3. California police admittedly used the search technique because they
feared that the Daily would be uncooperative, and that a subpoena would give
unnecessary notice resulting in delayed acquisition of the evidence sought.
Brief for Petitioners at 18-20, Zurcher v. Stanford Daily, 436 U.S. 547 (1978).
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press claims that Calfornia law en-
forcement officials utilized this method to avoid the state's shield law. 6 PRESS
CENSORSHIP NEWSLETTER 30 (1975).

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