By John Eggerton
Broadcasting & Cable
Bloggers, Web Journalists Included in the Protection
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s (D-Calif.) office confirmed that there will be a floor vote next Tuesday, Oct. 16, on a federal shield law, H.R. 2102, that would protect journalists and their sources from overzealous federal prosecutors.
The bill, which passed in the House Judiciary Committee in August, would establish a qualified privilege that protects journalists from having to reveal their sources to government investigators, with carveouts for some categories of information, including trade secrets and personal health information. Those carveouts were crucial in mollifying chambers of commerce and other business interests.
Online journalists and bloggers would be included in the protection so long as they were “gathering, preparing, collecting, photographing, recording, writing, editing, reporting, or publishing news or information that concerns local, national, or international events or other matters of public interest for dissemination to the public.”