NY Court Case putting Journalist Source Protection At Risk

UPDATE 3.4.19: The New York Daily News is reporting 16 other news organizations have joined my fight to unseal this case and to defend the reporters privilege to protect sources. On March 1st legendary media attorney David Schultz, who leads the Yale Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic, filed an AMICUS brief on behalf of The New York Times, NY Post, Newsday, NY Daily News, The Intercept, Gannett Newspapers, The parent company of the New Yorker, the AP, Hearst, Gizmode Media, First Look Media, Reporters without Borders and more journalist non profit organizations. The NYDN reported the brief centers on the importance of the public and the media’s right to an open court system. No one should be able to sue a journalist with an attempt to get access to their protected source material and then have the court keep the fact they did this quite; which is what happen to me. The AMICUS brief shows other journalist and their news publications don’t want the NY State Court to repeat these kind of rulings against the media working to inform the public. I appreciate my peers in journalism supporting my byline and the work of any freelance investigative journalist who doesn’t have powerful internal media lawyers to back them up.

The hearing to unseal this case and dismiss any action trying to force me to reveal a source is tomorrow March 5th at 2:30pm. Court Address: 80 Center Street, room 307, NYC, NY. I encourage any NYC readers and journalist to attend and show your support for an open court system.

NY Daily News story

The subject of one of my investigative stories is attempting to use the New York State court system to force me to disclose a confidential source key to my reporting on the person’s alleged wrongdoing. On top of that,at the subject’s request, a judge has temporarily allowed the lawsuit to be sealed so that I can’t make public who is trying to do this. It’s an alarming legal move that goes to the core of press freedom, free speech, and source protection in this country. My readers should know I have every intention of fight this. With over a decade of investigative reporting under my belt I have never revealed a protected source.

To fight this injustice I have been working quietly behind the scenes to secure a top first amendment lawyer to defend this case in court this month. I am doing this not just to protect myself but for the rights of all journalist working with confidential sources so that the actions demanded in this case don’t become case law that could be used against other journalists.

Today I am pleased to announce the Press Freedom Defense Fund has award me a grant to help fund this defense and Mark Bailen and Peter Shapiro of Baker Hostetler have stepped up to take the case. The case caption is: Anonymous v. Anonymous Index No. 655887/2018 (Sup. Ct N.Y. Co.) and filed in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

Stay tuned for more as we fight to unseal this case.

Thanks in advance for your donation support and continued readership!

You can find court dates for this case here: http://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/iscroll/
Read more about the Press Freedom Defense Fund here: https://www.pressfreedomdefensefund.org/


Enter your email address to subscribe to TeriBuhl.com and receive notifications of new articles by email.


  1. Happy for you guy says


Share Your Voice

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.