Sens. Feinstein And Durbin Specifically Try To Carve Citizen Journalists Out Of Shield Law
from the protecting journalists or journalism dept
There was a lot of reasonable concern earlier this year when a much needed federal shield law proposal appeared to ignore participatory journalists and only cover those employed by major media companies. After people complained about this we were relieved to see Senators Chuck Schumer and Arlen Specter change the bill to cover participatory journalism as well. As they realized such a law should be about protecting acts of journalism not some arbitrary definition of journalists.
Unfortunately, it looks like some other Senators disagree. Karl Bode alerts us to the news that Senators Dianne Feinstein and Dick Durbin are specifically trying to limit the bill to only covering major media journalists. It’s hard to see any rationale for such a move, but it does seem rather obnoxious. One of the fundamental points of a strong media is the ability to protect their sources. Without that, it’s that much harder for the media to actually hold anyone accountable, since sources will be more afraid to reveal important information. Why would Senators Feinstein and Durbin be so against protecting the process of journalism?