'S.F. Chronicle' Holds Firm on Sources in BALCO Case

By: E&P Staff This week's announcement of new measures by Major League Baseball to curb steroid use was a vindication of his paper's reporting, Phil Bronstein, editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, said yesterday. He added that the paper still has no intention of giving up the source or sources of its information, despite requests from the local U.S. attorney.

Kevin V. Ryan, a U.S. attorney in San Francisco, has asked for a Justice Department investigation of the leak.

"The press has certain responsibilities in society, but one of them is not to enforce the provisions of the federal grand jury system," Bronstein told The New York Times. "Obviously, there are people who disagree with that, including the Justice Department. But that's not the view from here."

The Chronicle last month published federal grand jury testimony that tied star players Jason Giambi and Barry Bonds to use of illegal steroids.

Eve Burton, general counsel for the Hearst Corporation, which owns the Chronicle, said grand jury leaks had been going on for a long time without serious harm to American justice.

"There is a natural tension," she told the Times. "The government has its job to do, and the press has another job to do. ... What is new about this is that reporters are now being targeted in leak investigations."

She said she knew of 18 cases around the country in which reporters were being asked to reveal where they obtained information about continuing investigations, starting but hardly ending with the high-profile Valerie Plame/Robert Novak case.


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