From shorthand to cyberspace: Journalists' interview records as evidence
Date of this Version
Journalists have traditionally used established and time-proven methods of recording and storing their interviews, whether they be shorthand notes or recordings on tape or video. New communication technologies have opened up novel ways of recording conversations, but these prompt questions about the admissibility and veracity of data obtained in some of these ways when tendered in the courtroom, for example as evidence of truth or good faith in a defamation trial. This article reviews the basic rules of admissibility of evidence in relation to journalistic research and compares how these applied to earlier newsgathering methods with how they might apply to new practices and equipment. It subjects modern digital techniques to the tried and proven common law and legislative tests of evidential admissibility and suggests avenues for further research which might lead to new work practices for journalists and editors to bring them into compliance with courtroom requirement.
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