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Report No. 93

Chapter 9


9.1. Persons to be covered.-

On the basis of the materials contained in the preceding chapters, we now proceed to make our own recommendations on the subject under consideration. At the outset, we would state that in our view, information obtained on an understanding that the source will not be revealed, deserves to be treated on a special footing so to justify special provisions conferring appropriate protection. The lines on which the statutory amendments should run will be presently indicated in greater detail, with reference to the various issues that have been considered by us.1

First, as regards the persons to be covered by the proposed amendment, we are inclined to include, within its scope, not merely the "professional journalist", but also the occasional or casual journalist, even "the lonely pamphleteer" of whom the Supreme Court of the United States was speaking.2 It is also not our intention to exclude, from the protection, editors and other senior management personnel to whom the information is conveyed in professional confidence, or the technical personnel who accompany the newsman, such as the cameraman, who may be involved in the gathering of information imparted expressly or impliedly in confidence. In fact, as will be seen from the next paragraph (where we deal with the publications that should be entitled to the benefit of the proposed reform of the law), we are going to frame it in fairly wide terms so as to cover all mass media.

1. Chapter 7, supra.

2. Pratsburg v. Hayes, (1972) 408 US 605: 92 SG 3616: 32 Law Ed 2d 626.

Disclosure of Sources of Information by Mass Media Back

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