When the facts or events in a news story become the subject of litigation or government investigation, the parties involved will usually engage in informal investigation that may well include cordial conversations with reporters. This is particularly likely in the case of government investigations where the reporter may have had close contact with government attorneys in the course of his or her own investigation.
Unfortunately, disclosure of facts and sources outside the published article at this stage may constitute a waiver of privileges you may want to assert at a later time, when formally subpoenaed. Be sensitive to this fact and, if necessary, explain to the questioning party that the newspaper has very strict procedures relating to release of background material and that you must clear any further discussions with your editor. This will give you time to consult with the editor and lawyer about the long-range effect of such discussions.
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