SAG-AFTRA

02/22/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/22/2024 17:14

SAG-AFTRA Statement on CBS Retention of Reporter's Files

In response to recent media reporting, SAG-AFTRA is making the following statement:

SAG-AFTRA strongly condemns CBS News' decision to seize Catherine Herridge's reporter notes and research from her office, including confidential source information. This action is deeply concerning to the union because it sets a dangerous precedent for all media professionals and threatens the very foundation of the First Amendment.

It is completely inappropriate for an employer to lay off a reporter and take the very unusual step of retaining and searching the reporter's files, inclusive of confidential source identification and information. From a First Amendment standpoint, a media corporation with a commitment to journalism calling a reporter's research and confidential source reporting "proprietary information" is both shocking and absurd.

The retention of a media professional's reporting materials by their former employer is a serious break with traditional practices which supports the immediate return of reporting materials. We urge CBS to return this material to Catherine in support of the most basic of First Amendment principles. We are encouraged by recent outreach by CBS News to SAG-AFTRA on this matter, and we are hopeful that it will be resolved shortly.