Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Reporter Must Do "Public Service Story" Or Face Contempt Charge

The judge in charge of Warren Jeffs' recently completed trial on rape charges had ordered media not to interview prospective jurors. Nevertheless, local reporter Katie Baker of Salt Lake City's KUTV did a story with an individual who was eventually not chosen for the jury. Ms. Baker says she was unaware of the judge's order. While Judge James Shumate is willing to believe her, he's unwilling to let her off the hook completely. She must produce a "public service story" in the next three months and submit it to him on DVD, or be found in contempt. The story doesn't need to be broadcast but must also appear on the station's website. The contempt citation could carry a 30 day sentence or a thousand dollar fine. Read more here in a Salt Lake City Tribune article and here in the Deseret Morning News.

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