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RTNDA Supports Passage of Federal Shield Law

RTNDA Supports Passage of Federal Shield Law

The Radio-Television News Directors Association supports the introduction of a bill to create a federal shield law to protect reporters.
Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have shield laws in force in state courts, and 18 other states have recognized a reporter’s privilege as a result of judicial decisions. In federal courts, however, there is no uniform set of standards to govern when testimony can be sought from reporters.
The RTNDA has endorsed the introduction of the Free Flow of Information Act of 2006 by Sens. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., Arlen Specter, R-Penn., Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.
The bill is similar to the one introduced in 2005 in that it does not compel reporters to reveal their confidential sources, but the new legislation has provisions that would force reporters to testify in certain circumstances, said RTNDA. The bill would require reporters who are eyewitnesses to crimes to testify and would require them to disclose information needed to prevent an act of terrorism or harm to national security.