DA Says Buchanan Coverage Unfair
TIMBERLINE LODGE—Lane County District Attorney William Frye told an Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association meeting Saturday that editors had not acted fairly in the Annette Buchanan case.
Frye criticized the editors for what he called failing to make a conscious effort to understand the whole problem the case presented, for encouraging a journalist to “rise above the law,” while at the same time asking for better law enforcement.
Miss Buchanan, Emerald managing editor, was subpoenaed by Frye to come before a grand jury hearing last June for a story she had written quoting seven University students describing and defending the use of marijuana on campus.
She was subsequently found guilty of contempt and fine $300 for refusing to reveal the names of the students. Her case is now on appeal.
Frye said—when discussing his decision to issue the subpoena—a law that would protect journalists legally from being forced to divulge confidential sources of information.
He said “there is not one whit of evidence that the free flow of information has been inhibited in any way by the absence of such a privilege.”
He also argued that Miss Buchanan’s story was not in the public interest and that she was not “protecting the guilty, not the innocent” by refusing to reveal the names of the people she interviewed.
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