Uploaded by Humza Nadeem

Reporters Neg Case

I negate resolved: In the United States, reporters ought to have the right to protect the identity
of confidential sources.
The value for this round is morality. Morality in today’s debate can be defined as following the
moral code the government has put in through laws and regulations as it encourages protection
from harm and loyalty to one’s nation.
The value criterion for this round is upholding governmental legitimacy. Upholding
governmental legitimacy is imperative in a stable and moral society. Without upholding
governmental legitimacy, the citizens of the government do not feel inclined to follow the rulings
and regulations put in place by the governing order leading to chaos. This makes it impossible to
achieve morality as people do not feel they are protected when the government does not seem
legit and also lose loyalty leading to disarray. When governmental legitimacy is upheld
however, it allows the government to ensure morality as people are inclined to follow the rules of
society which allows the government to do their job to protect and give people their due right
The definitions are as follows:
1. Reporter: A reporter has a more specific function within the realm of journalism. Reporters are usually engaged in
the direct gathering and communication of public information, usually through
primary information sources such as first-person interviews, news conferences and
attendance at news events. The material they communicate is usually -- but not always -- limited to the facts they
have gathered; editorializing or sharing opinions on the news is not considered part of
the reporter's role.
2. Ought: Implies a moral obligation
3. Right: a basic human right (as defined under the Human Rights Act) which can, in
certain circumstances, be overturned by the government or other public body where
exercising that right infringes on the rights of another person or group of people.
(Based off the Supreme court https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/fundamental_right)
4. To protect the identity: to refuse to reveal the identification of confidential source
Contention #1: National security of American citizens is number one priority.
Chris Walker 17 says,
University of Leads, 2017, Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics, and Public Policy,
Investigative Journalism and Counter Terrorism
there is the demand for information generated by the activities of journalism. In this
way, journalism is coerced into serving state interests, even if contrary to the journalistic ethics
on the basis of which the information was amassed. This state capture of journalistic information may involve the
more voluntary trading of information through ongoing police- media cooperative
relationships, but the interest of this paper lies in more coercive approaches. These will involve demands backed by legal
sanctions, such as criminal offences or contempt of court, in reaction to police knowledge
or suspicions that journalists possess potentially usefulSecond,
As said by Chris, the information some reporters have is widely desired by the law enforcement
as it can help them solve many cases or detain criminals. In a wide variety of situations, reporters
can give this desired information to the police of high risk targets that can lead the police to
eliminating a great threat, yet do not due to their journalistic ethic of not revealing their
confidential sources. This causes a major National Security risk that cannot be solved due to the
fact that reporters are unwilling to give their sources. As a result, the people in the United States
feel threatened by potential threats that may come upon them, such as a terrorist attack or nuclear
bomb, and will consequently will feel that if the government can’t even protect them how can
any rule they have put in place be true. These people would then break laws and cause the
government to take action against them causing much disorder and chaos. Furthermore, this
disarray can cause the government feel no one is listening to the rules they have put in place,
making them turn to a tyrannical or military approach to keep order. When reporters do not have
this right however, the government can uphold their legitimacy as they can ensure the safety of
all American citizens by being able to obtain information about threats and eliminating them,
keeping all Americans secure about their protection from the government securing morality for
Contention #2: Confidentiality can hurt public trust of the government
Edward Wasserman, A Critique of Source Confidentiality, 19 Notre Dame J.L. Ethics & Pub.
Pol'y 553 (2005).
Verifiability, which is the closest journalism comes to offering a functional equivalent to the standards of social science, usually is premised on
associating information with the person who provides it. That enables third-parties to determine
that the words were spoken, just as reported, by the person who was said to have uttered them.
Here again, confidentiality may impair accuracy. It can impede testing the truthfulness of
information; nobody else can phone the reporter’s secret source to confirm, refute, or modify the
original information. Anonymity, USA Today founder Al Neuharth observed, enables sources to
say more than they know and reporters to write more than they hear.
When reporters press for confidentiality, it creates uneasiness in society. As said by Edward,
people question the accuracy and status of the source and whether the reporter is even actually
quoting this source or are just saying their own opinion. People feel they can’t trust anything
they read that has a confidential source making them feel consistently isolated from the truth.
This makes it hard for the people to stay loyal to the government as they do not know what
information given to them is real or not. This leads to people potentially feeling everything about
the government is bad though all of it is untrue. Removing reporter’s rights to conceal certain
sources results in people to continue to trust the government and their decisions by alleviating
this uneasiness. This allows the government to uphold their legitimacy as the people they are
responsible for trust them much more which would allow the government to protect them and
secure their security
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