Reporter's Aurora Scoop Shouldn't Send Her to Jail
Judith Miller: Fox's Jana Winter is right not to divulge her James Holmes sources
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2013 11:47 AM CDT
Fox news reporter Jana Winter arrives at district court in Centennial, Colo., on April 1.   (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

(Newser) – An assault on the freedom of the press is taking place here in the US, writes journalist Judith Miller in the Los Angeles Times. A court in Colorado might soon order Fox News reporter Jana Winter to jail for refusing to disclose the sources behind her reporting in the aftermath of last year's shooting rampage in Aurora. Among other things, Winter got the "world-class scoop" that James Holmes had sent a notebook about his plans for a mass killing to his psychiatrist before the attack. Holmes' attorneys say that her sources violated a gag order, and Winter is refusing to name them.

That's the right move, but Winter shouldn't be forced to choose between her freedom and her ability to function as a journalist, writes Miller, who served 85 days in jail herself for refusing to divulge sources in the CIA's Valerie Plame case. (She, too, now works for Fox News.) "A nation cannot remain free if the government alone decides what information its citizens are entitled to have," she writes. "The Constitution's framers well understood the need for an independent press when they enshrined the right to speak and publish freely in the 1st Amendment." Click for Miller's full column.

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charlesncharge
Apr 11, 2013 12:52 PM CDT
She should have known this was going to happen and created a cover. I was out at a bar, I picked up a stranger. We decided no names as we went to my place. He gave me the scoop and a lil somethin somethin on the side and then we went our seperate ways. I DO NOT KNOW HIS NAME. All I remember is he had a mole on his left but cheek.
mind_riot
Apr 10, 2013 12:32 PM CDT
first amendment , cant start blasting reporters for being good at sleuthing , if we do we will never learn anything and will be stuck with corporate mouthpieces ,
trailmix
Apr 9, 2013 3:58 PM CDT
She violated the gag order, send her away, Reporters need to respect that.