Dearbhail McDonald: Revelations beg the question: who is watching watchdog?
Journalists are not above the law. But one of the key privileges the press enjoys is the freedom, in the public interest, to protect its sources in the broader interests of the common good.
Journalistic privilege is not just an informal convention or ad hoc confidence extended by reporters to their sources.
It is a legal and ethical duty reporters have towards those who confide in them - once destroyed, that confidentiality cannot be restored.