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Its time to raise the shield!
Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia provide journalists with a reporters privilege, protecting them if a state government seeks to make him or her reveal confidential information, including the identity of a source. Some states have statutes, known as shield laws, and some provide the protection through case law.
There is absolutely no protection at the federal level. Its time to pass a federal shield law.
Shield law: Get up
H.R.1962 Free Flow of Information Act of 2013
S.987 A bill to maintain the free flow of information to the public by providing conditions for the federally compelled disclosure of information by certain persons connected with the news media
Amended language for S.987 [Sept. 12, 2013]
Arguments in favor of the shield law
Shield law FAQ
History: The struggle since 2006
Journalism groups backing a federal shield
RCFP guide to state shield laws [RCFP.org]
How you can help
Sample email messages and letters
Contact info for U.S. Senators
In the news
Covered Journalists: Federal shield law language a good compromise
Freedom of the Prez: On shame and shield law
62 Civil Liberties, Press Freedom and Public Interest Groups Demand Answers on Targeting of Journalists
Protect reporters, and protect everyone
Counterpoint: Media deserve guarantee of federal shield law
FOI FYI Blog: Shield law posts
The proposed Free Flow of Information Act (S. 987) would provide protection to reporters, and their sources, from the federal government in federal courts. It was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee in September 2013.
The Free Flow of Information Act is pending in the Senate. SPJ needs your help to get it passed.
2. Report in. Let us know when you contact your senators by using this form, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details.
3. Spread the word! Get others to email. Tweet about it. (Get suggestions here.) Write editorials. Cover the story. Check back.
Talk about it. Write about it. Editorialize about it.
Here are the facts about the bill and arguments in favor of the shield law.
Here is a list of U.S. Senators and their contact info. You can find your two senators there.
Here are some sample email messages and letters to send to your senators, asking for their support for this important bill.
Watch this page for more news and information as the federal shield law moves through Congress.
Its time to raise the shield. Now!