Press: Breaking The Code of Confidentiality

Two newspapers are found guilty of revealing a source

Dan Cohen had spent enough time around reporters to know that few deals are considered more inviolable than the one between a journalist and a confidential source. So six days before Minnesota's 1982 gubernatorial election, Cohen, a Republican Party activist and public relations director of one of the city's most prominent advertising agencies, alerted four local political reporters to a juicy story: Marlene Johnson, the Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor, had been convicted of shoplifting $6 worth of sewing supplies from Sears twelve years earlier. The reporters were free to use the information, Cohen said, so long as they did not...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!