Ring around the Hosey – circling the wagons and waiting for appeal
Joseph Hosey has a breather. At least for now.
Last week the Patch.com reporter would have faced a $1,000 fine, $300 per day and perhaps jail until he coughed up his sources regarding a murder trial he is covering. On Friday, Judge Gerald Kinney agreed to a stay while Hosey appeals the contempt of court ruling.
That means Hosey will wait while his case is reviewed by the Illinois Court of Appeals, maybe a few months or so. No fines or jail until the matter is settled.
Fortunately, Hosey has legal counsel and a load of supporters behind him, from the SPJ Chicago Headline Club, to SPJ Florida, to SPJ national, all willing to provide financial support, amicus briefs, and whatever else is necessary to achieve justice.
We’ve suggested to Hosey that he apply for help from SPJ’s Legal Defense Fund but so far he hasn’t needed it. We’ve also offered to parachute in and create a media blitz to raise attention, like we did in Utah with the 2011 Black Hole Award presented to the Legislature and governor. We don’t want our efforts to backfire – each case is different – so we are taking Hosey’s lead and stand ready to help when he asks.
I ask that you do the same. Stand up for journalism, speak out, support LDF, and help SPJ hold the line on the First Amendment!
Unfettered access to those in power, a push for government transparency and a vigorous defense of the First Amendment are perhaps more important now than ever before. Join us as we fight for the public’s right to know as an SPJ Supporter. Or, if you’re a journalist, we welcome you to stand with us as a Professional, Student or Retired Member.