July 12, 2007 FAN ALERT
Ask your members of the House of Representatives to support the Free Flow of Information Act.
HR 2102, the journalists’ shield law, will come before the House Judiciary Committee next week. The bill would permit journalists to protect their sources from subpoenas in federal judicial matters. Although 33 states and the District of Columbia recognize specific journalists’ rights to protect sources, the federal law does not. This bill recognizes some exceptions to the journalists’ confidentiality rights, such as in grave matters of national security or when a defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial is at stake. But it also recognizes that without the ability to protect confidential sources, journalists cannot provide the nation with the information it needs to govern itself. Subpoenas of reporters are at an alarming high, as nearly two dozen journalists have been summoned to testify in this past year in Washington, D.C., alone.
NFPW President Meg Hunt recently signed NFPW on as an official supporter of this bill. She and First Amendment Chair Marsha Shuler strongly encourage NFPW members to contact their members of the House and urge them:
1) to sign on as co-sponsors of HR 2102; and
2) to express their support of the bill to the House Judiciary Committee, which is considering whether to move this bill to the floor.
More information on the bill and its status is available at www.loc.gov/thomas, at the Newspaper Association of America web site, www.naa.org, or at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press web site, www.rcfp.org
Meg Hunt, NFPW President
Marsha Shuler, NFPW Vice President and First Amendment Chair
Tonda Rush, NFPW First Amendment Counsel