What about media law do citizens need to know when they publicly address legally challenging or dangerous topics? Journalists have always had the privilege, protected by statute, of not having to reveal their sources. But as more investigative journalism is conducted by so-called amateurs and posted on blogs or websites such as Wikileaks, what are the legal dangers for publishing secrets in the crowdsourced era? We convene an engaging group law scholars to help outline the legal challenges ahead, suggest policies that might help to protect citizens, and describe what steps every civic media practitioner should take to protect themselves and their users.
David Ardia is director of the Citizen Media Law Project which provides legal resources for those involved in online journalism and citizen media.
Daniel Schuman is the policy counsel at the Sunlight Foundation, where he helps develop policies that further Sunlight’s mission of catalyzing greater government openness and transparency.
Moderator: Micah Sifry is a co-founder and editor of the Personal Democracy Forum.
Co-sponsor: The MIT Center for Future Civic Media