Headline Club lauds Illinois Supreme Court ruling on eavesdropping

The Chicago Headline Club applauds the action by the Illinois Supreme Court which throws out the state’s eavesdropping law, which prohibited the recording of any conversation – public or private – without consent.

            While the ruling removes all restrictions connected with in-person conversations, Headline Club President Fernando Diaz said he expects that journalists will maintain transparency and inform interviewees when a conversation is being recorded, whether in person or by phone.  The Court’s decision does not address phone conversations.

            The Chicago Tribune reported that the statue was considered among the strictest in the Country.  The Court said loud conversations in public could not “be deemed private”, noting that “…a loud argument on the street, a political debate on a college quad, yelling fans at an athletic event, or any conversation loud enough that the speakers should expect to be heard by others.”   The complete opinion is available at Supreme Court Ruling

            “The ruling by the Supreme Court removes barriers for citizens and journalists alike,” Diaz said.  “We think it will be a huge advantage for journalists who want to record conversations to ensure accuracy and transparency.”

            The Chicago Headline Club is the Chicago Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.  Its membership includes journalists from throughout the Chicago area who work in print, broadcast and digital journalism.