KAKE-TV Wichita last week claimed a qualified First Amendment right to rebuff a state agency's attempt to subpoena a reporter's unpublished and un-aired notes and video. Reporter Carol Wang had done a report in February on a nightclub called Acapulco Joe's, concluding the club was discriminating on the basis of race. The state's Human Rights Commission, which has since filed a complaint against the club, wants her materials, and has asked Sedgwick County District Court to order the station to surrender her work, including the names of confidential sources.
"The commission wants the identify of her source for its own investigation," said kake attorney Lyndon Vix.
Vix said the station was concerned because a local paper was found in contempt earlier this year for refusing to turn over materials to a criminal investigation, and any shield law in Kansas is still in its infancy.
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