A reporters’ right to refuse to identify her source, while deeply rooted in the First Amendment, is not absolute. No federal statute explicitly protects a reporter’s right to refuse to name a previously unnamed source. Thus, many states, including Illinois, have passed legislation creating a qualified privilege to protect this right.
In Illinois, the Illinois Reporters’ Privilege Act provides that a court, generally, may not compel a reporter to reveal her source unless certain criteria are met. This article examines the procedural mechanism for divesting a reporter of her privilege and the requisite showing a litigant must make in order to satisfy the statutory requirements.
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