'We Shouldn't Be Putting Journalists in Jail': Fox News Reporter Faces Jail Time Unless She Reveals Sources
In the summer of 2012, James Holmes shot and killed 12 people and injured more than 50 others at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. As the nation asked why, FoxNews.com reporter Jana Winter was the first to break the story about a notebook Holmes sent a psychiatrist that detailed his plans for the rampage.
Holmes’ attorneys say Winter must give up her sources regarding the notebook because the leaked information hampers their client’s right to a fair trial. Winter is hoping a judge will uphold New York’s media shield law, which protects journalists from revealing sources. If the judge doesn’t, she’ll have to return to a Colorado court where she faces possible jail time.
Judith Miller joined Harris Faulkner on last night’s Fox Report Weekend to discuss the case. Miller went to jail for 85 days in 2005 for refusing to reveal her sources. Having spoken to Winter about that choice, Miller said the Fox News reporter is ready to go to jail if she has to.
“Jana believes strongly enough in being a good journalist and the kind of person people want to talk to and trust that she’s willing to make that decision. She’s willing to go to jail. I just don’t think that in a democracy like ours we ought to be putting journalists in jail. That’s what happens in […] countries that don’t have free and independent presses and judiciary that is determined to protect people and protect that First Amendment.”
Miller said she’s concerned that Winter could face an indeterminate amount of time in jail. “She shouldn’t have to choose between protecting her sources and doing her job, and basically that’s the choice she’s having to make.”