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Patch's Confidential Source Fight Hits National Media

The president of the Society of Professional Journalists tells FoxNews.com that the case has far-reaching implications if the judge's order is allowed to stand.

Patch reporter Joseph Hosey
Patch reporter Joseph Hosey
By Karen Sorensen

The Will County court case in which a Patch reporter was ordered to reveal the source of police reports he received in the Hickory Street murder case is receiving national news coverage.

FoxNews.com interviewed reporter Joseph Hosey and Patch Associate Editorial Director Dennis Robaugh about the ruling, in which Judge Gerald Kinney ordered Hosey to disclose the identities of anyone who leaked reports from the January murders in Joliet. The story was posted on its online news site Thursday.

Patch is appealing the ruling on the grounds that it violates reporter shield laws.

The stories Hosey wrote about the case from the reports made international headlines because of such lurid details as two of the four suspects having sex on the bodies of the men they allegedly killed and the party atmosphere that existed after murders. 

“I know that I am doing the right thing and that has helped me with my decisions,” Hosey told FoxNews.com. “That’s the reason I’m doing this. On principle."

David Cuillier, president of the Society of Professional Journalists and director of The University of Arizona’s journalism program, told FoxNew.com the order has greater ramifications than just this case. 

“This action causes serious harm to journalists everywhere, and not just to reporters, but for the public to get information it needs to self-govern,”  Cuillier told the online news site. 

"Every journalist is leaked information – either verbally or through government documents, as in this case. There is nothing illegal about accepting government documents, even classified ones or even documents someone else acquired illegally."

The next hearing in the case is Sept. 20.

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These are the stories published from the police reports that are the center of this court case:

Accused Killers Confessed to Having Sex on the Bodies, Police Reports Reveal

Nightmare on Hickory Street: An Inside View to a Horrific Double Murder

Accused Killer Wanted to Keep Dead Men's Teeth

Daddies' Little Girls: One Dad Threatened to Call the Cops, The Other Did

'There's Four Mouths That Know,' Accused Killer Says, 'But We're All Involved Equally

Bob Jamesly September 06, 2013 at 01:44 PM
Will County law enforcement should now be nationally revealed to be the mess that it is. From the first Kathleen Savio autopsy, to the Fox fiasco and the missing quarter million dollar's worth of heroin from the sheriff's evidence storage, and the porn judge, and the botched hotel stolen i.d. scam, and the Angela and Brian Charles "cold case" and the running down of the pedestrian on Briggs St. late one nite by a county vehicle. This is just "more of the same" in Will County. Remember that Drew was convicted with the help of his own lawyer and the autopsy paid for by the Savio family, not good police work.

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