McIntosh decision: cork the champagne, but uncap a beer

After nine years in court, the National Post has been
ordered to hand
over its Shawinigate document
in a Supreme Court ruling that offers mixed results
for the protection of sources. The
Canadian Press reported the decision means journalists have no constitutional
right to protect
their sources
. The Canadian Association of Journalists initially called the case “a blow for source protection” while Canadian Journalists for Free Expression’s reaction was that the good outweighed the bad This
National Post article
states that the ruling explicitly recognizes
journalists’ right to protect their sources, although not in all cases. A Globe and Mail editorial agrees that, while the
National Post lost its case, the Supreme Court affirmed source protection and ‘The
Right to Tell Untold Stories

The National Post has posted a helpful
step-by-step guide to the
legal arguments
. Later this week NP editor-in-chief Doug Kelly will discuss the ruling in
a podcast.
For further background, read the full
of the judgement, and this detailed analysis in J-Source’s legal section.