McAllister Case Raises The Question: How Does The Law Protect Vermont Journalists?

Mar 10, 2016

There are still a lot of unanswered questions in the sexual assault case against Franklin Sen. Norm McAllister. But the case has had some Vermont journalists asking themselves a question: "Will I become part of the story?"

Prosecutors in the case subpoenaed staffers at Seven Days for their notes about the case. The paper is contesting those in court.

And authorities have contacted VPR about the case, though no reporter has been subpoenaed.

So what kind of protections do Vermont journalists have against being forced to testify in court, or reveal a confidential source?

To find out, VPR's Alex Keefe spoke with Mike Donoghue. He was a reporter at the Burlington Free Press for nearly 50 years, and he's also the head of the Vermont Press Association.