WJAR reporter invokes privilege - Broadcasting & Cable

WJAR reporter invokes privilege

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WJAR-TV Providence, R.I., reporter Jim Taricani cited federal newsgathering
privilege when subpoenaed by a special prosecutor attempting to discover who
leaked a videotape that appeared to show a Providence City Hall aide accepting a
bribe.

WJAR-TV in February 2001 aired the tape, which seemed to show a former top
aide to Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci Jr. taking a $1,000 bribe in his office.

Both the aide, Frank Corrente, and Cianci have been convicted in the recent
"Plunder Dome" trial, which has gripped the city for months.

Taricani has been the station's lead Plunder Dome reporter.

The identity of the person who leaked the tape may be known by as few as two
people -- the leaker and Taricani -- and Taricani isn't talking.

He said attorneys representing his station and owner NBC have been supportive
and believe the First Circuit goes further than most in providing haven for
reporters protecting sources.

Taricani said he answered the questions he felt he could, and he is now awaiting the
special prosecutor's next move.

Taricani has not been threatened with contempt of court.

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