Friday, March 21, 2014

Senate Has Votes to Pass Law Shielding Corporate Journalists

Citizen journalists may soon be intimidated into silence by government. Photo: Ferran Cerdans Serra
Photo: Ferran Cerdans Serra
Legislation designed to put damper on alternative media

Kurt Nimmo
March 21, 2014

Citizen journalists may soon be intimidated into silence by government. 

New York Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer said today the Senate has the votes to pass a bill that will protect corporate journalists from court issued demands to reveal their sources. The White House, Democrats and Independents and five Republicans in the Senate support passing the legislation.

The law will protect “covered” journalists defined as an employee, independent contractor or agent of an entity that disseminates news or information, according to the Associated Press.

In other words, if this law is enacted, citizen journalists and bloggers not affiliated with corporations may be subpoenaed and forced by law to reveal sources.

The First Amendment does not explicitly protect journalists. However, by the 1970s, most states had shield laws in place to protect journalists from revealing their sources and going to jail for failure to do so.