Boston University’s ‘Great Debate’ Features New York Times Reporter Judith Miller

in College of Communication, Humanities/Social Science, News Releases
November 2nd, 2004

Contact: Richard Taffe, 617-353-4626 | rtaffe@bu.edu

(Boston) — Boston University’s College of Communication will hold its 18th Great Debate on Wednesday, November 10, at 6:30 p.m. at the Tsai Performance Center. Included on the team arguing the affirmative to the question, “Should the law protect a reporter from having to reveal confidential sources?” will be New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who faces a jail term for refusing to reveal a source.

In early October, a federal judge held Miller in contempt of court for refusing to name her sources to prosecutors investigating the disclosure of the identity of a covert C.I.A. agent. Miller, who gathered material for a story about the agent but never wrote it, faces up to 18 months in jail for refusing to cooperate with the judge’s order. Her case is under appeal.

Joining Miller on the affirmative team will be Robert A. Bertsche, a journalist turned lawyer who is a renowned defender of journalistic privilege, and BU student David Rini, a communications studies senior.

The team arguing the negative will include attorney Joseph diGenova, a former U.S. Attorney who served as a special prosecutor and counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives; criminal law attorney Victoria Toensing, a former deputy assistant U.S. attorney general; and BU student Nick Barber, a broadcast journalism junior.

The debate will be moderated by BU Journalism Department Chairman Robert Zelnick, a former long-time correspondent for ABC News.

Event: Boston University Conference, College of Communication
“The Great Debate: Should the law protect a reporter from having to reveal confidential sources?”
Date: Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Place: Boston University, Tsai Performance Center
685 Commonwealth Ave., Boston

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