Many of you fellow journalists probably already know this, but I just learned of a measure that passed the House called the federal Shield Law. The law would give legal protections to journalists who refuse to reveal confidential sources or notes. There are laws in 49 states that deal with this, but there are no protections at the federal level. Obama is in support of the bill, however, it is now facing the very ominous Senate vote. This link explains more about the pending bill http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=869#869
I think this law is so important. It shows that government is willing to protect the public and the Fourth Estate, and it is vital to keep reporters motivated when they feel they need to report something but are fearful of getting in trouble. I realize many people feel this is giving special protection to a certain group of people, but I think that if somebody besides corrupt government officials and Wall Street folks aren't protected to do investigative reporting, then the public will ultimately suffer. I don't think journalists will abuse it either.
But the bill still needs to pass the Senate, so I would urge you all to visit this link http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm.
You can find the contact information for your Senator, or home-state Senator, and tell them why you think this bill needs to pass. I am planning on writing my home-state Senators. Eight Senators from various states have already signed on, but that is not enough! The bill needs at least 60 votes, so every one counts. I am thrilled with this good news in a time of turmoil for journalists.