Readout of the Justice Department’s Meeting with News Media Representatives
In a meeting with media representatives, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland reaffirmed today the Justice Department’s commitment to a free and independent press and provided an update on efforts to further ensure journalists acting within the scope of news gathering are protected from compelled disclosure of information revealing their sources.
In July 2021, the Attorney General announced a new policy that restricts the use of compulsory process to obtain information from, or records of, members of the news media acting within the scope of newsgathering activities. To help ensure the durability of the policy changes, he asked Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco to undertake a process to codify the policy change reflected in the July 2021 announcement into Department regulations and to otherwise update those regulations. Today, Department officials provided an update on that review, noting that the forthcoming revised regulations are intended to further strengthen protections to news media outlets and journalists while providing clear guidelines for Justice Department investigators and prosecutors. The Department expects to finalize and post the regulations online this fall.
In addition to the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General, other Department attendees included: Matthew Klapper, Chief of Staff to the Attorney General; Marshall Miller, Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General; Anthony Coley, Director, Office of Public Affairs and Senior Advisor to the Attorney General; Dena Iverson, Principal Deputy Director, Office of Public Affairs; Julie Dickerson, Counsel to the Attorney General; David Newman, Associate Deputy Attorney General; and Margot Benedict, Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General.
News media representative attendees included: Bruce Brown, Executive Director, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press; Steve Adler, Chair, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press; Nancy Barnes, Senior Vice President of News and Editorial Director, NPR; Sally Buzbee, Executive Editor, Washington Post; Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews, Executive Vice President, Newsgathering CBS; Jason Conti, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, Dow Jones; Sam Feist, Washington bureau chief, CNN; Dana Green, Senior Counsel, New York Times; Karen Kaiser, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary, Associated Press; Jane Mayer, Staff Writer and Chief Washington Correspondent, New Yorker; Jim McLaughlin, Deputy General Counsel, Washington Post; Ken Strickland, Vice President and Washington Bureau Chief, NBC; Susan Page, Washington Bureau Chief, USA Today; and David Vigilante, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, CNN.