revelation about the Watergate source “Deep Throat,”
along with the jail sentence for Judith Miller and Time
Inc.’s decision to deliver confidential information to a
grand jury has renewed interest in the right of the
press to withhold the identities of confidential
some media groups are openly calling for federal
legislation that would protect the press from
prosecution for withholding this information – a type of
federal shield law. There are 31 states that have some
type of shield law in place now.
"Free Flow of Information Act" would allow testimony to
be released from a journalist only after non-media
sources have been exhausted - and only if the testimony
is needed to solve a crime or resolve a civil case. It
also extends further protections to the identities of
legislation has bipartisan sponsors in both the House
and the Senate. It is pending in Congress, but needs to
be passed before the next judge decides to incarcerate a
journalist for protecting his or her sources.
believe that without this type of protection, their
ability to obtain sensitive information will be severely
compromised. This can lead to the elimination of
news-breaking stories and limit the ability of the
public to be accurately informed about issues.
Whistleblowers have long been a prime source for
behind-the-scenes stories that reveal corruption or
cover-ups in both corporate and governmental entities.
The loss of these “in the know” sources will severely
inhibit the reporting of the truth to the public.
information, here are two articles: