First Amendment Coalition to host media shield law workship following police raid on San Francisco journalist

The First Amendment Coalition and the Society of Professional Journalists’ Northern California chapter will hold a Zoom workshop on California’s shield law for members of the media on June 2, 2020.

The workshop comes more than one year after San Francisco police officers raided the home and office of freelance journalist Bryan Carmody in connection with the publication of leaked documents related to the death of former San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi.

Carmody received the materials from an anonymous source and distributed them to members of the television news media, many of whom used that material in news reports on Adachi’s death.

Though police had warrants to search Carmody’s home and office, judges tossed the warrants and suppressed information obtained from Carmody’s home, office and personal devices. In their rulings, judges determined officers overstepped their bounds because Carmody was a recognized member of the news media and was protected by California’s journalism shield law, which protects reporters from having to disclose anonymous sources used in the course of news-gathering operations.

California’s journalism shield law — one of the toughest in the country — says reporters, editors, producers and other members of the news media cannot be held in contempt for refusing to disclose sources. It protects members of the commercial and non-commercial news media as well as freelancers, bloggers, writers and other journalists equally.

On June 2, the First Amendment Coalition and the Society of Professional Journalists will hold a joint workshop to discuss that shield law and other laws in California and at the federal level that protect the news-gathering and reporting activities of journalists.

The workshop will be held via Zoom and is free and open to the public. Click or tap here for details.

Note: The information in this post is presented for educational and informational purposes only. The Law Office of Mark Reichel neither warrants nor endorses, and is in no way affiliated with, this event or its organizers.

Posted in Legal News.