In 1999, North Carolina became the thirty-first state to enact a statute granting journalists a privilege to withhold information from compelled disclosure. The North Carolina law, like other journalist's privilege statutes across the United States, applies to persons, companies, or other entities engaged in the business of gathering or disseminating news. Further, by defining the privileged group in terms of news gathering and disseminating functions, the General Assembly continued the time-honored practice of state legislatures in limiting the testimonial privilege to those who work for traditional news media.

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