Protecting the Sources of Information: legal Aspects Cover Image

Zaštita izvora informacije: pravni aspekt
Protecting the Sources of Information: legal Aspects

Author(s): Alen Rajko
Subject(s): Law, Constitution, Jurisprudence
Published by: Fakultet političkih znanosti u Zagrebu

Summary/Abstract: In Croatia, the issue of the legal status of the sources of journalists’ information as well as the status of journalists who publish sensitive information is increasingly gaining prominence. This is a subject which includes elements of constitutional, media, labour, civil, and penal law. The essay is limited to people as information sources. The sources can be divided into internal and external. The rationale for the sources’ confidentiality privilege lies in the fact that journalists serve public goals and their sources can find themselves imperilled. According to the author’s classification, the risks of this privilege are faced either by the sources (direct or indirect manipulation, smear campaigns, misapprehensions) or by the journalists (“protecting” a fictional source, subsequent blackmail of the source, misapprehensions). In Croatia, the protection of the information sources is defined in Article 12 of the Law on Public Information. The author outlines the major comparative systems of regulation of this field, the examples of antinomies among different Croatian regulations (the principles for their resolution are also offered) and analyses the position of certain types of sources in relation to the Croatian law. And finally, the author compares the regulations of the Croatian law with the comparative systems, analyses the representation of certain forms of responsibility of certain types of subjects and lists the principles he deems most important regarding journalists’ work (the necessity of protecting the sources, the responsibility of journalists towards their sources, the different legal status of journalists and their sources, the protection of privacy, the verification of confidentiality, the more dominant interest, the importance of administrative ethics, the familiarity with the regulations, the adequate legal definition of a secret).

  • Issue Year: XXXVII/2000
  • Issue No: 01
  • Page Range: 211-229
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: Croatian