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Former Microsoft Exec Loses Confidentiality Lawsuit Against Business Week

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by eyeonsportsmedia, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. see http://www.crosscut.com/mudville/10029/ for full article...

    ...was stunned to see his name and employer identified in the article, contrary to what he said later was an explicit understanding that Conlin would do otherwise. So he filed suit against Conlin and her employer, McGraw-Hill Companies, owner of BusinessWeek, claiming the reporter had broken a promise and breached a contract. The lawsuit claimed the breach had damaged his career at Microsoft, contributed to his mental illness and marital difficulties, and put him, at age 51, on a path of financial hardship. He asked for at least $1 million for medical expenses, lost wages, and suffering.

    The case, originally filed in December 2005 in King County Superior Court, was moved to U.S. District Court in Seattle. In reply, McGraw-Hill said there never was any understanding that the interview was confidential.

    Last week, a jury sided with McGraw-Hill, saying no promise existed ...

    The case received no press coverage but it fit a larger, ongoing national story about the increasingly edgy relationship between sources and journalists. Sometimes, the story is about pressure by government on reporters to disclose the names of confidential sources. Less often is the tale of an angered source suing a reporter, claiming a broken promise, because such matters are often a tangle of unsupported claims of who said what, differing laws that might treat a reporter's promise as legally significant, and inexact standards in journalism.
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