The proposed federal shield law, called the Free Flow of Information Act protects journalists from having to reveal their sources and documents. The law would also make sure journalists and confidential informants won’t face the threat of federal prosecution or subpoena.
The requirement of this law is briefly explained in this piece by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). The SPJ strongly supports the passing of this law.
The Free Flow of Information Act, Senate Bill 448, is under consideration in the U.S. Senate, makes it tougher on federal prosecutors to reach out, intimidate and promote punishment of journalists.
In 1980, California incorporated a shield law into the state constitution. The shield law protects a journalist from being held in contempt of court for refusing to disclose either unpublished information or the source of any information that was gathered for news purposes, whether the source is confidential or not.
“Lawyers and their clients, doctors and patients, priests and sinners – all are confidentiality relationships protected by law. But journalists and their sources? Not quite.” says Lizzie Pine at Drake University School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
In the Society of Professional Journalists has raised $30,000 dollars in support of the passage of the shield law. They ask you to join them in their endeavor.
To make a contribution using a credit or debit card, call SPJ today at 317-927-8000 ext. 200. Note that you would like to make a contribution to SPJ’s Federal Shield Law Campaign.
To contribute by check, make the check payable to SPJ. In the “for” section of the check, clearly print “Federal Shield Law Fund.”
Mail checks to:
Society of Professional Journalists
3909 N. Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46208
*For more information on contributing, please go to the bottom of this article.