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Courtney Douglas

Courtney Douglas

Courtney Douglas

English
"Strengthening Statutory Safeguards Against Unlawful Searches of Journalists’ Work Product"

Federal law prohibits state actors from searching journalists’ unpublished materials, yet these common interferences remain a prominent concern for press freedom advocates and the media community nationwide. The May 2019 police search of reporter Bryan Carmody’s cell phone, home, and office — conducted after he refused to identify the source who gave him a confidential document —  illuminates how technology, police strategies to obtain search warrants, and the evolving definition of “journalist” are complicating protections for the news media. Through the lens of the Carmody case, Courtney is exploring how lawmakers ought to answer to these recent and timeless threats to the reporter’s privilege, an essential element of democratic discourse.