Senate Says Amateur Journalists Don't Deserve Shield Protection

from the and-why-not? dept

Congress has been working on a federal "shield" law that that allows journalists to protect their sources. This is an important concept, and many states already have local laws on that front. Unfortunately, as the Senate was working on its version of the bill, it's apparently decided that the law should only apply to professional journalists who make their living that way. If you happen to just write a blog post that exposes some sort of wrong, you'll have no shield protections. Or if you write for a participatory media site and blow a whistle, again, you'll have no shield protection for your sources. While not all that surprising (do you really think our Senators understand the value of participatory journalism), it's still disappointing.

Filed Under: amateur, journalists, professional, senate, shield law


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2009 @ 11:33pm

    See, the whole purpose of freedom of speech is so that one can express their free speech without retaliation. If there is retaliation (ie: to lose ones job and not be able to get a job, to go to jail, or to get executed) then that defeats the purpose of freedom of speech.

    If someone wants to post anonymously why reveal their identity unless the purpose of doing so is to open the door for retaliation which defeats the purpose of having freedom of speech.

    and people should be able to post their news to non mainstream media outlets, like blogs, anonymously without having to fear that their news story will turn into someones intellectual property. They may want blogs to discuss the issue without having corrupt mainstream media sources calling the blogs parasites and going after everyone for intellectual property breach and what not. and people should ABSOLUTELY be given that option, to say what they want to say on the Internet for everyone to see anonymously without having what they say be anyone's intellectual property.

    This is the MAIN thing I'm concerned about, that people be given that option and the mainstream media wants to unethically take that option away from the people.

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