The media: public watchdogs

Though many people read newspapers, not many people really think of what it means to be a journalist.

Just in the same way people might not understand what a police officer or a doctor goes through on a daily basis it’s hard to imagine what a journalist goes through if you have never been in their shoes.

As most reporters probably agree, they more often hear from the public when their work is disliked than hear from the silent majority who enjoyed their work.

Like many professions it is a job that comes with a price. Not only does it include long, varying hours, the job can also can mean gag-orders to work around. At the same time, reporters around the world are injured, in some cases kidnapped, killed and jailed for doing their job.

In the midst of the trial of the Aurora Colorado theater shooter, James Holmes, which has the attention of the nation, a smaller case is being launched against a reporter who covered the shooting. The secondary trial is against a female reporter who is not being accused of any crime.

New York-based Fox News reporter Jana Winters is being called upon by Colorado justices to reveal the names of confidential sources that released information that showed the accused mass-murderer had eluded to his psychiatrist at the University of Colorado that he was going to commit the crime.

Winters could face up to six months in jail for not revealing the names of confidential sources which divulged information that Holmes sent a package to the psychiatrist that included a notebook “full of details about how he was going to kill people,” prior to the July 20 shooting, according to a source of Winter’s July 25 article.

The FoxNews.com article also reported the notebook contained illustrations of a massacre, including drawings of gun-wielding stick figures shooting other stick figures. The court believes it is information that could only have come from law enforcement or investigators in the case that were under orders not to talk about the drawings.

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