Shield Law Heads To House Floor
March 25, 2009 at 10:44 AM (PT)
Another federal shield law bill has passed the HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE and will go to the House floor for a vote. The "Free Flow of Information Act" (HR 985) is in its second round in the House, having passed last year only to end up failing to get to a vote in the Senate. This year's version was marked up in committee TODAY and offers a qualified privilege to journalists to protect their sources, with an exception for classified information that endangers national security or information that could prevent imminent death or bodily harm, which would be balanced against the public's right to know.
NAB EVP DENNIS WHARTON said, "For years, broadcast journalists have demonstrated a commitment to keeping Americans informed with timely investigative reporting on issues of critical importance. Key to this effort is a reporter's ability to retain access to confidential sources without fear of prosecutorial reprisal. NAB thanks Chairman (JOHN) CONYERS (D-MI) and Reps. (RICK) BOUCHER (D-VA), (BOB) GOODLATTE (D-VA), and (MIKE) PENCE (R-IN) for their continued leadership on this issue, and we look forward to passage by the full House and Senate."