WGA issues statement supporting scribe

HOLLYWOOD — The Writers Guild of America East has issued a statement in support of jailed New York Times reporter Judith Miller after she refused to disclose a confidential source.

“Judith Miller’s sacrifice in refusing to divulge a confidential source is not a flaunting of the law but an exercise in civil disobedience, devoid of personal gain and wholly in the public interest, and we commend her for it,” the guild said. “Her incarceration not only jeopardizes the security of other journalists but also creates a chilling effect on anyone who wishes to bring hidden information into the public light.”

Guild also said, “At a time when more and more information is deemed secret, we are clearly moving in the direction of protecting and concealing when our goal should be to bring the workings of organizations and the government, in particular, into the open. If confidential sources cannot be protected, the invaluable American tradition of a free press will cease to exist.”

Miller, who investigated the leak of an undercover CIA agent’s identity but never wrote a story about it, was ordered jailed Wednesday by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Hogan. The judge rejected a request by Miller and her lawyers that she be allowed to serve her sentence at home or at a federal “prison camp” in Connecticut.

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