I’m still keeping up with the progress back home of the proposed federal shield law for journalists.
In a previous post, I included my letter to U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, who is the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. I’m from Alabama, by the way, which is why I wrote to him.
I received a response from his office a couple of weeks ago. It was a very cordial letter, and it outlined some of the concerns he has with Senate Bill 448, also known as the Free Flow of Information Act.
Sessions does not support the bill as it is written. His primary concern centers on the issue of national security and whether journalists would be protected from revealing information that could be necessary to protect the country.
I think this concern has some merit, but I don’t think that it is enough to derail this bill. It is a shame that the United States, a country that has a press tradition that serves as a model for other countries throughout the world, doesn’t guarantee certain basic protections for journalists at the federal level.