COMMUNICATION LAW CASE STUDY 3
CommunicationLaw Case Study
CommunicationLaw Case Study
Thefirst consequence of promising the confidentiality of the witness ofthe break in is a legal lawsuit against the journalist. In the caseof keeping such confidentiality, the police will have a legal basisof obstruction of justice by hindering investigation. The fact thatthe witness has information that can help the police identify andconfirm the culprits makes such a legal basis by the police strongenough to hold a case against the journalist. The second legalconsequence of promising confidentiality is being compelled by acourt of law to provide the information the witness gave in additionto identifying the witness. Therefore, the two legal consequences mayoverride the allowance that the journalist has to withhold someinformation from the public and the police.
Thesedocuments are not public records as determined by the as defined byFederal and State Access Laws unless they are not relevant orsignificant to the case. The arrest report is a legal document thatis not a public record since it contains information for the case.The medical reports concerning Joe Smith at UW Medical Center areconfidential documents and not public records. Moreover, academicreports and transcript of the suspect is not a public documentwhether as a case document or not. This is because all thesedocuments are private and confidential, and are also relevant andsignificant to the case.
TheWashington State shield law protects a journalist from forceddisclosure of information that they use to publish critical stories.However, if the information that the journalist is withholding isimportant for the attorney to defend his case against the police,then the judge in a court of law may order for disclosure. If theinformation is material in the obstruction of justice to the policeand the attorney, the law has exceptions. Despite this legal windowfor Joe Smith’s attorney, the case does not hold since he is thedefense attorney and not the police. Only the police have a legalbasis of holding such a case for a disclosure order.
Onthe concern of my job as a journalist, it would be fair for the judgenot to order for the removal of the story from the website or ban myreporting on the case. However, the judge can order for the removalof the story and ban journalist reporting of the defense attorney canprove that the story will influence the court’s judgment.Currently, the attorney is basing his argument that the story and myreporting are influencing the opinion of the public, which does nothold a part in the court’s judgment.
Thejudge should not ban the media from the courtroom or even bar somereporters from writing on the story. This is because the protectionof the identity of the suspect and the accused does not influence thejudgment of the court. In addition, the court should not accept theargument of the defense attorney that the identity of the defendantis being violated. This is because, the requests of the defenseattorney violates the rights of the public to get information on thecase. This is because the general public has a right to know thedevelopments of the case, including the identity of the suspect.