Sunday, November 21, 2004

Contempt of Court, Press should take care

Facing with the possible jail of contempt of court, a journalist has chosen to keeping his promise instead of breaching of confidence.
Jim's statement
Jim Taricani, a 30-year veteran journalist,
who works for NBC's TV station in Providence, R.I, was sued for not disclosing his source of one tape about the mayor's corruption. Many media reported the action as a threat to the Freedom of Expression. But it is more important to find that if he violated the law of Contempt of Court. The mayor has already been judged into prison, which means the jurisdical result is not affected by the show of the tape. And the second, if Mr. Taricani is willing to disclose the source, will he be suede for "Breach of Confidence"?

Like ICAC case in Hong Kong, when Singtao daily sued ICAC for "offense of freedom expression", the Court of Appeal didn't consider it as a big deal. Journalists should not be always proud of the exclusive right. Even if they are on behalf of "public opinion", they should be aware that the citizens also need the other rights. Like one of the comments on Taricani's case, " Freedom of Expression is the right of every citizen, not only journalists. If they violated the court order against the other right, they should bear the consequence"

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