The case of Josh Wolf, the freelance San Francisco photographer jailed Tuesday for refusing to turn over unaired video of a demonstration, bears similarities to a landmark case on press freedom 34 years ago also in San Francisco, writer Peter Blumberg points out in a Sacramento Bee story printed today. In that 1972 case, known as Branzburg v. Hayes, the high court, in a 5-4 vote, declined “to grant newsmen a testimonial privilege that other citizens do not enjoy.” In 1972, William Alsup (pictured), the judge who jailed Wolf, was a clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, who came down on the side of freedom of the press, arguing that the government has no business trying to shake information out of a journalist.

SF Press Club News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>