The following is a news release from the Idaho Press Club.
The First Amendment Committee of the Idaho Press Club objects to the subpoena of journalist Nate Eaton, of East Idaho News, as a witness in the case of Chad and Lori Daybell, and we call on the Idaho judiciary not to enforce the order.
“Eaton is a journalist, not a witness,” First Amendment Committee chair Scott McIntosh said in a prepared statement. “Eaton’s reporting and the information he has gathered is public record and widely available. Eaton should not be compelled to disclose any other information beyond what has been published under Eaton’s First Amendment rights of free speech and freedom of the press.”
Compelling a journalist to testify as a witness in a case covered by that journalist would have a chilling effect on news gathering practices necessary to execute those First Amendment rights. The First Amendment Committee urges the court to dismiss this subpoena.
The Idaho Press Club is a statewide association of working journalists, from all media; we also count among our members journalism students and teachers, public relations professionals, and retired journalists. Our mission is to promote excellence in journalism, freedom of expression, and freedom of information.