Shield laws are laws that allow reporters to conceal a source’s identity. Some states, such as Colorado, have statutes that make communications between reporters and informants confidential, allowing reporters to protect the identity of any person who reveals information to them. This privilege gives reporters protection from being compelled to testify about any confidential information or their sources. Even though state statutes vary with the degree of privilege, the public and defendant’s interest in discovering crucial evidence may outweigh the reporter’s interest in confidentiality.
[Last updated in July of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]