The United States Senate is currently considering the Federal Free Flow of Information Act. This would be a “shield law” that would protect the ability of journalists to keep their sources confidential. Right now 49 states and the District of Columbia have shield laws in place, but the federal government does not. This is a good idea, and I applaud the effort. Unfortunately the legislation has gotten hung because of one sticky issue — who is a journalist.
Our senior United States Senator, Dianne Feinstein, has introduced an amendment to this legislation (on behalf of both herself and Senator Durbin of Illinois) that would seek to narrowly define a journalist, with the rather obvious intent of trying to exclude independent and citizen journalists, such as bloggers.
Larry Atkins over in the Huffington Post reports:
The bill currently defines it [a journalist] as a person “with the primary intent to investigate events and procure material in order to disseminate to the public news or information… Read More