Instigator / Pro

Resolved: In the United States, reporters ought to have the right to protect the identity of confidential sources.


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After 10 votes and with 10 points ahead, the winner is...

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Round 1
Only utilitarianism encompasses the usefulness of wellbeing or avoiding pain. Governments must use util.  

Goodin Robert, 1995, Philosopher of Political Theory, Public Policy, and Applied Ethics. Utilitarianism as a Public Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, pg. 26-27 

Util … ensures … that policies are sensitive to … interests … The reason public action is required … arises from the inability of … individual action to achieve … desirable ends. … makes it morally incumbent upon individuals to organize … into collective units … capable of acting where … individuals are not. …. Individuals … are … circumscribed in how they can operate, in their collective mode. And those special constraints characterizing the public sphere … give rise to … util…
ADV 1 – Corruption

Research shows that Americans’ trust in the government is declining.

Transparency International, 2017 [Transparency International, Corruption In the USA: The Difference A Year Makes, Global Organization to counter corruption,, 9/11/18]

Key issues include the influence of wealthy individuals over government; “pay to play” politics and the revolving doors between elected government office, for-profit companies, and professional associations; and the abuse of the US financial system by corrupt foreign kleptocrats and local elites.Nearly six in ten people now say that the level of corruption has risen in the past twelve months, up from around a third who said the same in January 2016. A new survey by Transparency International, the US Corruption Barometer 2017,shows that the US government and some key institutions of power still have a long way to go to win back citizens’ trust.Almost 7 out of 10 people believe the government is failing to fight corruption,55 per cent gave fear of retaliation as the main reason not to report corruption,74 per cent said ordinary people can make a difference in the fight against corruption.Of these categories, government institutions and officials in Washington are perceived to be the most corrupt in the country.

The press keeps a check on the government and is largely supported by confidential sources

Toland ’08[Carol Toland, KU Scholarworks, Internet Journalists and the Reporter’s Privilege: Providing Protection for Online Periodicals, Kansas Law Review,;sequence=1, Pg.479, 10/18/18]

The press can often be viewed as operating as a “watchdog” for the governmentNumerous stories concerning government malfeasance can be traced to anonymous government sources. … [i]n the years since Watergate, literally thousands of stories concerning government corruption, mismanagement,have resulted from information provided to reporters under promises of confidentiality.”… some of the “biggest” stories involving government corruption,has resulted from information provided by anonymous sources or “leaks” … Without reporter’s privilege protection, it is unlikely that these stories would ever have seen the light of day or received the amount of attention that they did.If protection of their identity had not been guaranteed, they might not have been as willing to share information and expose government wrongdoing.

Corruption in the government affects the United States’ economy with long lasting impacts.

Johnson, LaFountain, and Yamarik, 11 [Noel Johnson, Courtney LaFountain, and Steven Yamarik, Springer, Vol.147, Issue 3-4, Corruption is bad for growth (even in the United States, Department of Economics and Mercatus Center George Mason University, Center for Economics, Applied Research and Methods Team US Government Accountability Office, Department of Economics California State University,, pg. 39, 9/14/18]
It is often assumed in the United States that corruption is somebody else's problem.It is unlikely that this belief stems from a mass self-delusion on the part of American citizens that their public servants are angels. The evidence to the contrary is all too apparent in the media. … the cost of corruption may be underappreciated in the United Stateswe assume that, even though a few officials may be bad, the "system" is good. Higher conviction rates of public officials are strongly related to lower economic growth. Our OLS results suggest that corruption plays at least as great a role in explaining the growth experiences of U.S. states as other macroeconomic determinants like population and education.corruption becomes even more of a drag on growth.Capital markets in the United States are heavily integrated and capital flows are highly elastic. When a culture of corruption in a state raises uncertainty or the cost of doing business, capital flows to more amenable institutional environments.investment is reduced in states with higher corruption ratesIdentifying the causes of corruption and implementing costly strategies to reduce it are justified

Economic decline caused by corruption triggers uncertainty and national security concerns – foreign rivals are emboldened to challenge American instability and vulnerabilities trigger loose nukes, counterbalancing, and regional instability.

Mann ’14 (Eric Mann is a special agent with a United States federal agency, with significant domestic and international counterintelligence and counter-terrorism experience. Worked as a special assistant for a U.S. Senator and served as a presidential appointee for the U.S. Congress. He is currently responsible for an internal security and vulnerability assessment program. Bachelors @ University of South Carolina, Graduate degree in Homeland Security @ Georgetown. “AUSTERITY, ECONOMIC DECLINE, AND FINANCIAL WEAPONS OF WAR: A NEW PARADIGM FOR GLOBAL SECURITY,” May 2014,

… economic considerations within states can figure prominently into the calculus for future conflicts. … security issues with economic or financial underpinnings will transcend classical determinants of war and conflict, and change the manner by which rival states engage in hostile acts toward one another. … security concerns emanating from economic uncertainty and the inherent vulnerabilities within global financial markets will present new challenges for national security, and provide developing states new asymmetric options for balancing against stronger states.¶ The security areas, … are likely to mature into global security threats in the immediate future. … the overlapping security issues associated with economic decline and reduced military spending by the United States will affect allied confidence in America’s security guarantees. … this outcome could cause regional instability or realignments of strategic partnerships in the Asia-pacific region with ramifications for U.S. national security. Rival states and non-state groups may also become emboldened to challenge America’s status … The potential risks associated with stolen or loose WMD, resulting from poor security, can also pose a threat to U.S. national security. … financial constraints affect weapons security making weapons vulnerable to theft, and how financial factors can influence WMD proliferation … inherent vulnerabilities within the global financial markets will provide terrorists’ organizations and other non-state groups, … with opportunities to disrupt global finance and perhaps weaken America’s status. …

Round 2
Round 3