Yesterday the House Judiciary Committee approved an amended version of the Free Flow of Information Act
. If passed, the act would shield reporters from having to testify about information they obtained through their journalistic activities. This significant step toward passing a shield law comes one year from the day I was escorted out of a Federal court room and held in civil contempt
for asserting a journalist privilege.
As CNET reports
, In response to concerns raised by the Bush administration and other politicians, the revised bill attempts to exclude the "casual blogger" from reaping those benefits by stipulating the protections apply only to those who derive "financial gain or livelihood" from the journalistic activity, Boucher said Wednesday. That broad rule could, however, include part-time writers who receive even a trickle of revenue from Google Ads or Blogads.com.
While the revised form of the law is not perfect, it does appear to offer a level of protection against Justice Department inquiries that doesn't currently exist. Although 33 states have some form of shield law, these protections do not apply in a federal context and several U.S. journalists have found themselves imprisoned in recent years as a result.… Read more