Joe Hosey of the local PATCH that covers Joliet, Ill., is getting some powerful support from the likes of the Illinois News Broadcasters Association and National Press Club in his fight.
Two more journalism organizations have joined the swell of criticism to a Will County judge’s decision to hold Patch editor Joe Hosey in contempt of court for not revealing a confidential source.
The Illinois News Broadcasters Association, Radio Television and Digital News Association and National Press Club each released statements criticizing Judge Gerald Kinney for not acknowledging the Illinois shield law, which has been in effect since 1982.
“If Kinney prevails, then there are no guarantees,” said Bob Roberts, WBBM News broadcaster and Freedom of Information Chair of the Illinois News Broadcasters Association. “The shield law becomes an empty shell. States replicate each other, so if you gut the shield law here it will start happening in other states soon.”
On Sept. 20, Kinney ordered that Hosey be held in “minor direct criminal contempt” for not giving up the source of investigative reports that detailed the grisly Hickory Street murders in Joliet. Hosey's prescribed punishment for maintaining confidentiality was $1,000 fine, $300 in fines for every day he does not divulge the source from Aug. 29 on up to 180 days and then incarceration.
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