Patch editor Joe Hosey is facing heavy fines and jail time for refusing to reveal a confidential source.
Several media trade organizations are stepping in to defend Hosey, who is being held in “minor direct criminal contempt” by Judge Gerald Kinney. Those organizations, including the Illinois News Broadcasters Association, Radio Television and Digital news Association and National Press Club are all saying that Kinney is ignoring the Illinois shield law.
The source in question leaked information about some brutal murders in Joliet, Ill., where the accused are alleged to have had sex with the bodies of the victims. (View the coverage here
From the Orland Park Patch
“If Kinney prevails, then there are no guarantees,” said Bob Roberts, WBBM News broadcaster and Freedom of Information Chair of the Illinois News Broadcasters Association. “The shield law becomes an empty shell. States replicate each other, so if you gut the shield law here it will start happening in other states soon.”
The INBA board passed a resolution condemning the judge’s actions. Other organizations backing Hosey include the Radio Television and Digital News Association and the National Press Club.
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Before this ordeal, Hosey was perhaps best known for his coverage of the Drew Peterson case, including the book “Fatal Vows: The Tragic Wives of Sergeant Drew Peterson