Investigative Reporter Catherine Herridge Held in Civil Contempt

By Mark Mwachiro 

Profile picture of Catherine Herridge

Former CBS News and Fox News investigative reporter Catherine Herridge has been held in civil contempt for refusing to reveal her sources stemming from an investigative piece about a Chinese American scientist she wrote while working for Fox News in 2017.

The court will fine Herridge $800 per day until she reveals her sources.

In issuing the fine, U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper in Washington wrote that the court “​​recognizes the paramount importance of a free press in our society and the critical role that confidential sources play in the work of investigative journalists like Herridge. Yet the Court also has its own role to play in upholding the law and safeguarding judicial authority.”


In a statement to CNN, Patrick Philbin, Herridge’s attorney, said, “We disagree with the district court’s decision, and to protect Ms. Herridge’s First Amendment rights, we intend to appeal.”

Meanwhile, a Fox News spokesperson shared a statement with TVNewser in support of Herridge.

“Holding a journalist in contempt for protecting a confidential source has a deeply chilling effect on journalism,” the statement reads. “Fox News Media remains committed to protecting the rights of a free press and freedom of speech and believes this decision should be appealed.”

Herridge was recently in the news after she was among the many CBS News staffers let go as a result of company-wide retrenchment affecting about 750 employees, as announced by the news division’s parent company, Paramount Global.

Shortly after her layoff, The Hill published a story alleging that CBS News had seized her personal belongings, including her “files, computers and records, including information on privileged sources.”

CBS News pushed back against these allegations and has since returned all her belongings.