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《考研英语阅读理解100篇 基础版》第5章 法律类 Unit 64

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2019年01月17日

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On April 3rd a handful of supporters greeted Josh Wolf as he came out of prison in Dublin,California.He had spent more than seven months in jail for refusing to testify and turn over to federal prosecutors a videotape of a 2005 street demonstration in San Francisco.The prosecutors were investigating injury to a policeman and minor damage to a police car.It is apparently the longest an American journalist has served for protecting his sources and materials. 
What makes the case odder is that Mr Wolf,who is 24,is a video-blogger as much as a freelance journalist.Moreover,the material was from a public setting and the sources have scant claim to confidentiality.He could have been protected by California's generous“shield law” for journalists,but the federal government became involved on the thinnest of pretexts: namely,that it partly finances the San Francisco Police Department.This made Mr Wolf feel that though the evidential value of his videotape was low,the federal prosecutors meant to force him to identify the masked protesters before a grand jury.This,he said,would have transformed him into an investigator for the government.So he chose jail instead. 
The case raises hard issues.What are the rights of bloggers in an era when almost anyone may claim to qualify for a journalist's protection? What legal privilege do reporters enjoy to keep source material from government's prying eyes? And did federal prosecutors abuse their authority by bringing charges for small municipal offences,thereby deliberately bypassing the state's law shielding journalists? 
Mr Wolf's case underscores the reality that journalists—or simply those who behave as if they were journalists,when formally they are not—have few rights to shield themselves from revealing their sources or reportorial material.Although 49 states offer certain rights (Wyomin is the exception),only the barest protection exists at national level.Potential federal legislation,which has bipartisan support,would require prosecutors to show that the information is necessary and cannot be otherwise obtained.The debate is over how broad the shield should be.Apply it too widely and the protection will inevitably be diluted; too narrowly and many eligible people will not be covered,explains Floyd Abrams,a first-amendment lawyer. In 1972 the Supreme Court,in the Branzburg case,said that reporters had no shield.But a concurring opinion contained the remark that the government should show the“necessity” of forcing reporters to testify.Prosecutors have largely accepted this legal gloss,until the recent cases when they have attacked on the press—or on“citizen journalists” like Mr Wolf. 
“The whole issue of whether or not I am a journalist is irrelevant: the first amendment was written to protect pamphleteers,” says Mr Wolf.He did not have time to get a card-carrying reporter's job,since he was imprisoned two months after graduating from university.“This was my entry into the world of journalism,” he says,“and a hell of an entry it was.” 
注(1):本文选自Economist; 
注(2):本文习题命题模仿对象为2003年真题Text 4。 
1.What can be concluded from the first two paragraphs? 
A) The case lasted for such a long time because of the low efficiency of the Police Department. 
B)“Shield law” failed to protect Mr Wolf because the prosecutor worked independently from the government. 
C) It talks about a legal case concerning journalist's right of source protection. 
D) The importance of the case lies in the video's confidentiality rather than journalists’ right. 
2.The author quotes Floyd Abrams's explanation to show that _______. 
A) it is difficult to define a proper“shield” that journalists should be entitled to 
B) the protection should enable journalists to safeguard most resources 
C) the federal legislation is still undergoing the debate on journalists’ right 
D) the protection should be strictly limited to a certain degree 
3.Josh Wolf's attitude towards his case is _______. 
A) indifferent 
B) outrageous 
C) sad 
D) considerate 
4.Journalists’ protection rights exist _______. 
A) only at the national level 
B) only at the state level 
C) clearly at both the national and state level 
D) clearly at the national level and vaguely at the state level 
5.The text intends to express the idea that _______. 
A) people should be more concerned about whether they can enjoy journalists’ protection 
B) the first amendment should be given a clearer explanation on journalists’ rights 
C) the legislation for journalists’ privilege of protecting resources has a long way to go 
D) more campaigns should be launched to protest federal prosecutors’ abusing authority 

4月3日,一群支持者向刚刚从加州都柏林监狱被释放的约什·沃尔夫表示祝贺。他已经被关了7个多月,原因是他拒绝作证以及拒绝向联邦检察官交出关于2005年发生在旧金山的一场示威游行的录像带。当时,那些检察官们正在调查一起伤害警察及破坏警车案。在所有因为保护消息来源和资料而被关押的记者中,显然沃尔夫是被关押时间最长的一个。 
这件案子的特别之处在于,24岁的沃尔夫既是一个博客作者,也是一个自由撰稿人。此外,他所掌握的资料来自公共设施,其消息来源也没有声明其保密性。他本可得到加州慷慨的“新闻保障法”对记者的保护,但是联邦政府却找出了一个非常牵强的借口:具体来说,洛杉矶警署的资金部分来自政府。这就使得沃尔夫先生觉得,尽管他的录像带没有很高的证据价值,但是联邦检察官故意强迫他在大陪审团面前确认那些戴面具的示威者。他认为这会使他变成政府的探子。所以他宁愿选择进监狱。 
这个案子引起了人们对一些棘手问题的关注。在一个几乎所有人都可以声称自己具备得到记者保护的条件的时代,博客作者们到底都有哪些权利呢?为了保护消息来源不被政府的眼线查到,记者们享有什么样的合法特权呢?当联邦检察官们为了故意避开州级记者保护法律而对小型市级违法行为提起诉讼时,他们是否滥用了自己的权力呢? 
沃尔夫案突显了一个现实,那就是记者——或者只是那些以记者自居但严格说不是记者的人——在保护消息来源或报道材料方面几乎没有任何的权利。尽管有49个州提供一些权利(除了怀俄明州),但最明确的相关规定只是停留在全国的层面上。一项得到两党支持的可能即将生效的联邦法律规定,检察官要证明需要得到信息是必需的且不能从其他途径获得。争议的内容主要在于对记者权利保护的范围大小。第一修正案律师弗洛伊德·艾布拉姆斯解释说,如果法案适用范围太广,其效力会不可避免地降低;如果太狭窄则又会使得应受到保护的人得不到保护。1972年,最高法院在布兰斯堡案件中声称,记者无权享受保护。但同时还出现了一些其他观点,如政府在强迫记者作证时需证明其“必要性”。检察官普遍都已经接受了这一法律解释,直到最近他们又重新开始攻击媒体——或者是像沃尔夫这样的“民间记者”的案子。 
“整件事情跟我是不是记者没有关系:第一修正案本来意在保护所有小册子撰写人,” 沃尔夫说。他还没来得及得到一份携带记者证的工作,因为他刚大学毕业两个月就被关进监狱。“这是我进入记者世界的开始,”他说,“一个极度糟糕的开始。” 
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