Two dozen states have filed a brief on behalf of two Chronicle reporters who are facing jail for not revealing the source of a grand jury transcript in the Balco steroids case. According to the AP, the states argue that the public interest demands the recognition of a journalist’s right to protect confidential sources. Most of the two dozen states have some type of media shield law. They urged the court to adopt a reporter’s privilege in federal court, where one does not exist. In August, a judge found reporters Lance Williams (center left in the Chronicle file photo above) and Mark Fainaru-Wada (center) in contempt of court and were sentenced to up to 18 months in prison. But they remain free while their case is being considered by the San Francisco-based appeals court. A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 12.