by Mike Masnick
Thu, Oct 18th 2007 2:36am
The House of Representatives approved a bill this week that would give journalists protection to shield their sources rather than having to give them up. This is a rather important bill, and while there's little chance of it actually becoming a law at this point, Declan McCullough over at News.com does a great job showing how different versions of the bill continually watered down who was actually protected -- starting with anyone practicing journalism, shifting to those who made some money from journalism activities and finally moving to only covering those who make a substantial part of their living that way. Declan has the full text, highlighting the changes to each version. Of course, it's hard to see how this makes any sense. Why should your ability to make money from your journalistic efforts have any bearing on whether or not you can protect a source? Given the rise of so-called citizen journalism -- where just about anyone is a journalist -- why should only those who do it full time for money get protection?
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