Friday, December 22, 2006

Chicago Drops Its Challenge to Reporter's Privilege

Posted By on 12.22.06 at 12:30 PM

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There may be a fine line between journalism and activism, but Jamie Kalven didn’t walk it. He had a foot in each camp. As an adviser to the Stateway Gardens advisory council Kalven got to know a resident named Diane Bond, and when she told him stories about being abused by Chicago police officers, he not only persuaded the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic to represent her in court but also told her story in a series of reports on his Web site. “I’m deeply implicated in the Bond case,” Kalven told me when I wrote a Hot Type column about his activities. “I blur the distinction between journalists and bloggers.”

For his troubles, the corporation counsel's office, which was defending the officers against Bond’s suit, subpoenaed Kalven's notes, tapes, and other documents. Kalven invoked reporter’s privilege and refused to turn them over.

A few days ago the case was settled. The city agreed to pay Bond $150,000 and abandoned its claim on Kalven’s materials. Here's a long report from the Hyde Park Herald.

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