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Any thoughts on the measure to define a journalist?,0,4553946.story

WASHINGTON — Journalists and bloggers who report news to the public will be protected from being forced to testify about their work under a media shield bill passed by a Senate committee Thursday.

But the new legal protections will not extend to the controversial online website Wikileaks and others whose principal work involves disclosing "primary-source documents … without authorization."

Senate sponsors of the bill and a coalition of media groups that support it hailed Thursday's bipartisan Senate Judiciary Committee vote as a breakthrough.

"We're closer than we've ever been before to passing a strong and tough media shield bill," Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said. "Thanks to important bipartisan compromises, we've put together a strong bill that balances the need for national security with that of a free press."

The final hurdle for the Judiciary Committee was defining who is a journalist in the digital era.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) insisted on limiting the legal protection to "real reporters" and not, she said, a 17-year-old with his own website.

"I can't support it if everyone who has a blog has a special privilege … or if Edward Snowden were to sit down and write this stuff, he would have a privilege. I'm not going to go there," she said.

*read more at the link above, this is only the beginning of the article and there is more to the story.

Is there any way this can go wrong?  Opinions?


Asked by QuinnMae at 10:01 AM on Sep. 13, 2013 in Politics & Current Events

Level 48 (292,718 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (3)
  • I think congress has proven itself repeatedly to be complete fucking idiots when it comes to legislating anything remotely involving the internet. This will be no different, and no matter where they draw the line, they're going to do it wrong, because they'll be using the wrong criteria out the gate.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 10:05 AM on Sep. 13, 2013

  • We're closer than we've ever been before to passing a strong and tough media shield bill

    I keep hearing this and all I can think is
    A shield to protect us from the media

    Answer by feralxat at 10:15 AM on Sep. 13, 2013

  • While I understand the fairly good intentions behind the idea of the bill, I think legislating anything to do with who can report what, or who can be protected while reporting anything, sets a dangerous precedent. Freedom of the press, as idiotic as the press can often be, is one of the most important foundational principles that makes democracy work.

    Answer by Ballad at 11:19 AM on Sep. 13, 2013