Law Vs. Media

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateA-, October 1996

download word file, 2 pages 5.0

Downloaded 103 times

- Good, thought provoking paper

I have elected to write an essay dealing with not just a news event, but an action that can highly influence the news we see and hear. The action is known as 'shield laws.' These are codes that enable the media to tell us information, but not where the data came from. I stand very firmly on the belief that enabling persons to stay anonymous (especially in the judicial system) can effect the outcomes of various situations.

Law Vs Media

On July 4, 1967, a law entitled 'Freedom of Information Act,' was passed. This law states that the public has the right to all federal records dealing with almost any subject (excluding those matter's in reference to national security). The act has been used time and time again in court to reveal such information as JFK's murder and 'the UFO conspiracy.' However, this act was not formed solely to exploit the government's records, but also for the public's rights granted in the 6th Amendment.

This bill states that a person has the right to a speedy trial, trial by one's peers, and the ability to cross examine his/her accuser(s). Therefore, in the case of journalists receiving information by 'anonymous sources,' these sources must be put on trial. However, by using 'shield laws,' the informants can remain anonymous. This in effect deems part of the 6th Amendment null. However, as stated, the loss of shield laws will result in a form a censorship. This brings up the point of which is more important: the law or the media?

To answer the question, you can not look in the Bill of Rights, since the 1st and 6th Amendments would act against one-another. Therefore, a judgment about 'shield laws' must be made. The decision must be...