Media Experts: Hawaii Shield Law Deters Subpoenas Of Journalists

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Hawaii's law protecting journalists from being forced to reveal their sources and notes hasn't been tested much in court, but that may be a sign it's working.

Reporters have only defended themselves with the 4-year-old shield law in a handful of cases. That's because for the most part, agencies are finding other ways of obtaining information for their cases, media experts said.

"It's been used more as a deterrent than anything," said Jeff Portnoy, a prominent First Amendment attorney in Honolulu. "But it's only a matter of time until some really important case comes down and the shield law will be front and center."

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