The San Francisco Chronicle reported that police raided the home of freelance journalist and videographer Bryan Carmody in response to allegations that he leaked a police report into the death of the city's public defender. Carmody has declined to release the name of the source who gave him the report.
Note: In the time since we recorded this Shop Talk program, San Francisco’s police chief apologized for the raid and the city’s police union called for the chief to resign.
Shop Talk panelist Patrick Johnson said no judge should have approved such a search warrant. He said the reporter’s information presumably came from someone who had access to it and thought it was important to share with the public.
Johnson wishes politicians and others in authority were as zealous about the First Amendment as they are about the Second Amendment.
Panelist Will Buss believes police overstepped their authority. He said sometimes sources are the only means through which information gets out. Buss also said Americans seem to have lost sight of the fact that the press serves as an advocate for the people.
Panelist Rich Egger said it’s common for law enforcement to claim that the release of information could jeopardize an investigation. He said it might be true in certain cases but in other cases the public release of information might actually help an investigation.
Shop Talk is a weekly panel discussion about journalism issues. This week’s program featured Will Buss, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University and advises the student editors at the Western Courier; Patrick Johnson, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at WIU and advises Western’s student radio station WIUS/The Dog; and TSPR News Director Rich Egger.