Today's Top Stories

Help Us Celebrate Journalism, Defend America's Free Press

The Newspaper Guild's annual awards ceremony will be an extra-special event this year as the Guild presents the Herbert Block Freedom Award for the first time in four years. It goes to James Risen, the acclaimed New York Times national security reporter who has spent eight years fighting federal subpoenas demanding his testimony against a whistleblower the government believes was a source for his 2006 book, "State of War." The ceremony will also honor other outstanding professional and student journalists, winners of the Heywood Broun and David S. Barr awards. Can you help us promote and sustain these important and distinguished awards? Photo: Proud and happy winners honored at the 2013 ceremony.

Guild Campaign Seeks New Owners for Digital First Papers

Wanted: New Owners. That's the headline today as The Newspaper Guild-CWA reaches out to potential investors for Digital First newspapers through a new campaign. Guild members are urged to help spread the word through tweets, Facebook and other social media. This morning, "Newspaper Guild-represented staff at major newspapers including the Denver Post, San Jose Mercury News and St. Paul Pioneer Press are publishing ads online and in print seeking local, community-minded buyers for their newsrooms. 'Dear deep-pocketed, local community benefactor,' one such ad begins, 'A longtime newspaper, with more than 100 years of history and multiple Pulitzer Prizes, is looking for an owner who cares about Denver, Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Empire. The current owner, a hedge fund out of New York City, refuses to open its purse strings and reward employees with much-needed raises.'

Reporter's Freedom, Shield Law's Survival, in Court's Hands

Does Illinois’ shield law protect a reporters’ sources and notes or not? It appears to depend on which judge you draw, which has been bad news for reporter and editor Joseph Hosey, a past Guild member. The shield law creates a “qualified” privilege for journalists, but it’s up to the courts to decide whether that privilege applies. That caveat is at the heart of the legal battle facing Hosey, who scooped all competitors last year when he got his hands on police reports about a gruesome double murder in Joliet, one of Chicago’s southwest suburbs. Last September, about seven months after breaking the story, Hosey was ordered to reveal the identity of his confidential source. Judge Gerald R. Kinney threatened jail and fines if Hosey refused, which he did.