There is a little landmine hidden in the law just waiting to trap the unsuspecting business journalist. Jail could be the result.
The law and journalism are so closely connected that students pursing a journalism degree are almost always exposed to take at least one course on the law. Topics often include covering government and the courts, avoiding obstacles like subpoenas and defamation claims, and the basics of intellectual property, both the use of others’ and the protection of your own.
But for the business reporter, a not-so-well-known aspect of securities law poses a very real risk. This is the insider trading rule which bans the trading of securities “on the basis of” material, non-public information.