Reporters Committee Solicits Miller Support - Broadcasting & Cable

Reporters Committee Solicits Miller Support

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The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has asked working journalists to sign a statement of support to be presented to jailed New York Times reporter Judith Miller.

It is a follow-up to a similar statement in support of all journalists found in contempt of court.

The statement is primarily for working journalists, but others can sign on as well at: http://www.rcfp.org/shields_and_subpoenas/support_judith_miller.php

The statement reads: "I support the decision of Judith Miller to refuse to disclose her confidential sources. Journalists are not above the law, but must be independent and free from government control if they are to effectively serve as government watchdogs."

Miller was jailed last week for refusing to testify on her reporting about the leak of the name of CIA employee Valerie Plame to columnist Robert Novak.

Miller has not been convicted of any crime, but is being held in an effort to compel her to testify. She can be held until the grand jury investigating the leak completes its work or until she chooses to testify, which she has said she won't do.

The judge could also conceivably cite her for criminal contempt, which would carry additional penalties, including possibly more jail time.

Bills to enact a federal shield law have been introduced in both houses of Congress. All but one state has either a law or court opinion protecting the relationship of journalists and their confidential sources.

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