for the hearing to enjoin the West Chester State College newspaper and its editor, Ellen Sands, from publishing an article about poor conditions at a house leased by plaintiff to students of West Chester State College. Immediately after the hearing, Cerra interviewed Lal, Sands and the president of the college. Cerra and her crew then visited the offices of the college newspaper and the house leased by Lal to the students. These visits, as well as the interviews, were recorded on videotape. Later that evening Cerra's report was televised. Thereafter, plaintiff brought the instant action alleging that the news report was defamatory.
Lal's motion seeks production of: "(a) Scripts; (b) Notes of Roseanne Cerra; (c) Any other notes; (d) Outtakes; (e) Carts; and (f) Any and all other pre-recorded tapes, whether audio or visual." (Document 33). I assume that plaintiff's motion is directed toward material relating to the March 21, 1980 news report for, if taken literally, the motion would have CBS produce everything in its files.
CBS asserts that, with the exception of Cerra's notes, everything in its possession has already been turned over to plaintiff.
With respect to Cerra's notes, CBS opposes discovery on the grounds that the notes are (1) the personal property of Cerra who is not a party to this law suit, (2) protected from discovery by Pennsylvania's Shield Statute, and (3) protected by the news reporter's qualified first amendment privilege against compelled disclosure of source material.
Assuming for present purposes that CBS can be compelled to produce Cerra's notes, I conclude that the notes are protected from discovery under Pennsylvania law.
I do not reach the issue of whether the notes are also protected by a first amendment privilege for, in my view, the privilege afforded by state law is broader than the constitutional privilege.
In response to CBS' argument that Cerra's notes are protected under Pennsylvania law, Lal argues that no privilege can arise under the shield statute where, as here, the reporter's "sources" have been disclosed. Support for plaintiff's argument can be found in the language of the statute:
Confidential communications to news reporters