William Goodwin was a journalist. He was provided with leaked information about a software company’s finances. Mr Goodwin concluded that the company was misleading its shareholders and the public by hiding this information and publishing unjustifiably positive financial reports.
The company wanted to sue the person who had leaked the information. However, Mr Goodwin refused to reveal the identity of his source. The company successfully sued Mr Goodwin to force him to reveal the name. Yet Mr Goodwin refused to obey the court order, on the grounds that a journalist should be able to protect his sources. He was fined £5,000 for contempt of court.