CBS Returns Catherine Herridge’s Files

CBS News returned journalist Catherine Herridge’s files and materials related to her reporting, according to a statement from the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA).

“SAG-AFTRA is pleased to confirm that earlier today a representative of our union monitored the return of several boxes containing Catherine Herridge’s reporting materials from her CBS News office in Washington D.C. Herridge is currently reviewing the materials,” SAG-AFTRA said.

“We welcome CBS News’ reversal which came after SAG-AFTRA’s intervention and widespread media coverage that underscored shared concerns about press freedom and the First Amendment,” the statement continued. “The resolution of this matter sends a strong message of protection for basic First Amendment principles. We further hope the public focus now turns to SAG-AFTRA’s continued efforts to support a Press Shield law that provides additional federal protections for journalists and their confidential sources.”

When Herridge’s files were initially seized by the network, sources familiar with the matter told The New York Post that the move was “unprecedented” and “extraordinary.”

“They never seize documents” when a reporter is let go, one source said. “They want to see what damaging documents she has.”

Law professor Jonathan Turley wrote in The Hill that he spoke “confidentially with current and former CBS employees who have stated that they could not recall the company ever taking such a step before.”

A former CBS manager shared with Turley that he “never heard of anything like this,” noting that journalists take their files with them upon departure.