The the press contributes to the public
The reasons for, in part, include: 1. That the journalist has a moral and ethical duty to protect the anonymity of an individual who gives him information with the understanding that it is to be regarded as confidential as to source. 2.
That the journalist must protect his sources as a practical assurance that he will continue to receive information in confidence, if need be, and make it possible for the newspaper to publish information that should be made known to the public. 3. That the press contributes to the public welfare and performs an essential public service in presenting information that should be made known to the public. 4. That the journalist, serving the public welfare, is as much entitled to special privilege under the law as is the doctor or clergyman or lawyer.
5. That, if a journalist can obtain information, the public agencies—including the police and the courts—should be able to obtain the same information without putting pressure upon the individual journalist to do their work for them and, in the process, betray a trust. Arguments against, include the following points: 1. That the function of the courts in the preservation of law and order must take precedence over any claim of privilege by the journalist. 2. That the journalist receives information with the specific understanding that it is to be made known, whereas the doctor, lawyer, clergyman receive it with the express understanding that it is not to be made known. 3. That a journalist, given a legal right to withhold source, could publish any sort of assertion or charge actually made up by the journalist to serve some purpose contrary to the public interest, or be used for that purpose.
4. That there is no evidence to show that the press performs any better or any worse, whether or not it operates under law granting protection. In spite of the demand for legal protection to professional secrecy, few countries have provided it, and in varying measure.
Although the press in India does not enjoy any legal protection to professional secrecy, the cases in which the journalists have been compelled by the courts to disclose the sources of their information, or where the journalists have been penalised for non-disclosure, are very few indeed, if any at all.