Journalists, bloggers and other opinion-makers are to get the legal right to protect their sources under new legislation published by justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin on Tuesday, reports ANP news service.
The minister has decided not to impose a strict definition of a ‘journalist’ so that other people can join public debates, says ANP.
But Hirsch Ballin stressed that there could be occasions when the public interest may outweigh the right to protect confidential sources and that a judge will have to make a ruling in these cases.
The right of journalists to protect their sources is to be enshrined into Dutch law following a warning from the European court for Human Rights last year. The warning came after Dutch reporter Koen Voskuil was held in custody for 18 days for refusing to reveal the identity of a source.
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