The Press: Protecting Sources

Should a newsman refuse to identify confidential sources of his information about a crime? Long tradition says he should. But legally—except in twelve states that have laws reinforcing the tradition—he has no more right than any other citizen to withhold information. In Fort Worth last week, William Prescott Allen, 60, publisher of the Laredo, Texas Times (circ. 15,283), faced the choice of revealing sources or going to jail.

In a campaign blasting Texas as "the most corrupt state in the nation," Publisher Allen charged that corruption flourished in Fort Worth under a syndicate headed by a Dallas state law enforcement officer (whom...