SPJ Part of Brief for Medill

SPJ and many other journalism organizations have joined in filing briefs in support of Northwestern university journalism students.


Journalism associations and news companies filed amicus briefs in support of the Medill Innocence Excellence and its students and professor David Protesss. The briefs were filed Jan. 11 at a hearing before Cook County Circuit Court Judge Diane Cannon, who accepted the briefs and scheduled the next court hearing Feb. 10.

The case involves subpoenas issued by Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez to obtain all the notes, recordings, e-mails and even grades of students who investigated the case of convicted murderer Anthony McKinney, who maintains his innocence and is appealing the guilty verdict.

“The Chicago Headline Club, the largest chapter of SPJ in the nation, along with other media organizations and outlets firmly believes the subpoenas are a violation of the Illinois Reporter’s Privilege Act,” said CHC President Beth Konrad. “This is producing a very chilling effect on journalism.”

CHC will continue to follow the case and be at the next hearing.

For further information, contact Susan S. Stevens, CHC’s Freedom of Information vice president, 312-733-1936 or susanstevens@aol.com.