Pederson discusses pros and cons of reporter privilege

Tony Pederson, SMU’s Belo Distinguished Chair in Journalism, drew from decades of experience as a reporter and editor with the Houston Chronicle to detail the ins and outs of reporter privilege in the Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility’s Public Scholar Lecture Nov. 14.

Pederson opened his talk by telling the audience that he has changed his mind on the need for shield laws – laws that give reporters privilege to hold information confidential. “When we look at the cases of the past few years, and at some of the complexities concerning the free flow of information and the role of media in democracy, I think we can clearly see that those rules have changed,” he said.

(more…)