Taricani, Corrente debate journalists’ shield law issues March 5 at IJPM symposium
Taricani, Corrente debate journalists’ shield law issues March 5 at IJPM symposiumFebruary 22, 2007Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
In December 2004, television journalist Jim Taricani was sentenced to six months’ home confinement for refusing to divulge his confidential sources to prosecutors heading up the “Plunderdome” corruption probe in Rhode Island.
On Monday, March 5, at 4 p.m. in Maxwell Auditorium, Taricani, investigative reporter for WJAR-TV in Providence, R.I., along with U.S. Attorney for the District of Rhode Island Robert Corrente, will debate the journalistic and legal arguments involved in U.S. shield laws and discuss how freedom of the press issues intersect with the demands of the criminal justice system. The discussion — moderated by Keith J. Bybee, director of the Institute for the Study of Judiciary, Politics, and the Media at Syracuse University (IJPM) — is open to the public. It is the fourth in a series of symposia and events sponsored by IJPM and is co-sponsored by the Carnegie Legal Reporting Program at the Newhouse School.
The discussion will be webcast live via IJPM’s website: http://jpm.syr.edu.
Taricani was sentenced to home confinement for refusing to reveal the source of a leaked FBI videotape showing a Providence official taking a bribe from a government informant. He could have received up to six months in federal prison after being found guilty of criminal contempt for defying U.S. District Judge Ernest Torres’ order to identify his source. Taricani had argued that he had promised to protect his source’s identity.
Taricani has appeared on several network news programs and in many national newspapers regarding the importance of having Congress pass a federal shield law for reporters. In 2005, he received the Press Freedom Award from the Radio/Television News Directors Association and was honored by the Reporters’ Committee for Freedom of the Press for Ethics in Journalism. He also won the Edward R. Murrow award in 1996 for investigative reporting and has received four Emmy Awards and nine Emmy nominations, as well as 12 Associated Press awards and a “professionalism” award from the Radio/Television News Directors Association.
Taricani is also a freelance writer for Rhode Island Monthly and the Providence Phoenix, and is a book reviewer for The Providence Journal. Prior to joining WJAR, Taricani was a reporter for several local radio stations and has worked as a writer for the Providence Business News.
President George W. Bush appointed Corrente as the U.S. attorney for the District of Rhode Island in August 2004. In this capacity, he oversees the office that includes 20 attorneys and 24 support personnel, which is responsible for prosecuting all federal criminal and civil cases in the state. He also serves on two subcommittees of the U.S. Attorney General’s Advisory Committee: the Subcommittee on Controlled Substances and the Subcommittee on Violent and Organized Crime.
Corrente began his legal career in private practice in 1981. He was managing partner of Corrente, Brill & Kusinitz; from 1998 until becoming U.S. attorney, he was a partner with the law firm of Hinckley, Allen & Snyder, LLP, with offices in Providence, Boston and New Hampshire.
He has more than 20 years of trial experience in business and commercial litigation in both the federal and state courts. In 1997, the Rhode Island Supreme Court appointed Corrente to its Ethics Advisory Panel, and he was named its chair in 2002. He chaired the Rhode Island Judicial Nominating Commission from 1998-2000.
Launched in September 2006, IJPM is an academic institute devoted to the interdisciplinary study of issues at the intersection of law, politics and the media. A collaborative effort of SU’s College of Law, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, the institute sponsors lectures, conferences and symposia designed to foster discussion and debate among legal scholars, sitting judges and working journalists.
For more information, visit the IJPM website: http://jpm.syr.edu.