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The value and credibility of modern journalism rests primarily on the belief that it exists to serve the public good. There is perhaps no greater demonstration of that principle than a reporter who is willing to suffer the consequences of not revealing a source who provides information the public should know about.
In the coming months, the courts will be asked to decide the fate of two reporters: one who steadfastly refuses to divulge the identity of his source even if it means jail; the other who voluntarily gave up his source in the face of a multi-million-dollar defamation suit. Both of these cases serve as good object lessons for reporters and their relationships with sources.
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