Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Aug. 12: It Is Time For a Shield Law

By Sylvia Gurinsky

In the past, this writer hadn't supported a federal shield law chiefly because of a fear it would set definitions on who is a journalist that the First Amendment of the Constitution does not.

However, the Bush Administration and company's repeated smackdowns (for lack of a better word) of journalists - jailing them for not revealing sources or turning over materials or spying on them - indicates that there is no longer a choice. The press needs those protections.

Here's the latest reason why:


Neither Sens. John McCain nor Barack Obama were involved in last month's vote, but both have been on record as supporting a shield law. Bush opposes it, and the Senate may not be able to get a veto-proof vote.

But for the last eight years, journalists have been among those harassed and restricted from doing their jobs - innocent victims in the war on terror. It's time to reiterate their constitutional rights. The Senate must give veto-proof approval to the Free Flow of Information Act.

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