Analysis of the Nebraska Privilege Statute (Free Flow of Information Act), An

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Authors
Schroeder, Stephen K.
Issue Date
1974
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INTRODUCTION|Sam is a career public employee with a middle-management position in a department of state government. He's forty-five years old, with a wife and three children, the oldest a sophomore at the state university. As a public employee with lengthy service, he knows a great deal about the workings, both official and unofficial,.of his department. He is also well-acquainted with some of the newsmen who cover state government, occasionally giving them tips about unofficial matters. None of his tips have led to any controversial news story; but often those tips have helped to supply background information, generally attributed to a "usually reliable source," that has made other stories more interesting. Basically, Sam has a secure existence. |One day Sam discovers that large amounts of money have been diverted from an allocated purpose in the department budget to a pet project of the department head. He feels this situation should be exposed but is afraid to speak out publicly because he might lose his job and thus endanger his family. He approaches a newsman he trusts, explaining that he has some information he would like to reveal but conditioned upon the newsman's promise that he will not use Sam's name in any story. The newsman agrees and Sam tells his story. |The newsman writes the story, attributing it to a "knowledgeable source." As expected, the story causes a sensation around the state capital. A legislative investigation is launched and the newsman is called to testify. One of the questions is...
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7 Creighton L. Rev. 329 (1973-1974)
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Creighton University School of Law
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