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SPJ commends the House for passing the PRESS Act, urges Senate to follow suit


1/19/2024


CONTACT:
Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins, SPJ National President, ashanti.blaize@gmail.com
Kim Tsuyuki, SPJ Communications Specialist, ktsuyuki@hq.spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists commends the House of Representatives for unanimously passing the PRESS Act, a bipartisan federal reporter’s shield law that prohibits the federal government from compelling journalists and providers of telecommunications services to disclose certain protected information.

“The PRESS Act provides journalists with long overdue protections of their First Amendment rights. Journalists should not be punished for keeping their sources confidential,” said SPJ National President Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins. “SPJ urges the Senate to follow suit and pass this legislation quickly.”

The House has passed earlier versions of the legislation in 2022 and 2007; however it never moved past the Senate. If passed, the legislation would be the first federal press shield law of its kind.

The PRESS Act is co-sponsored in the House by Reps. Kevin Kiley, R-Calif., and Jamie Raskin, D-Md.; and a bipartisan group of 18 other representatives. In the Senate, it’s co-sponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Mike Lee, R-Utah; and Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund or give to the SPJ Foundation.

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