Keoni Kealoha Alvarez, of Hawaii is fighting to stop a development project from bulldozing a Native Hawaiian burial cave he and his brothers discovered when he was only 8 years old. Alvarez believes burial grounds should be preserved to protect Native Hawaiian culture and history.
In 2009, land developer Joseph Brescia subpoenaed Alvarez’s unpublished footage and interviews regarding the burial cave, but Alvarez was protected under the state’s shield law.
And in September of that year a state judge on Kauai ruled that Alvarez didn’t have to respond to the subpoenas.
“With this decision, the media shield law can now be confidently asserted by journalists seeking to protect their work,” Honolulu attorney James J. Bickerton said in a news release, according to FirstAmendmentCenter.com. “The judge ruled that the media shield law means what it says — journalists can protect their confidential sources and can’t be forced to reveal their unpublished information.”