Support builds behind shield victory


Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) met with journalists last week urging their help in keeping momentum behind the Free Flow of Information Act of 2007, which cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee with a solid 14-3 vote (it was originally reported as 15-2, but one vote was subsequently reversed). "What I hope to convince you of is why we need to continue to work together for a federal shield law. I would ask you to continue to work with us to find a solution to this problem." Society of Professional Journalists National President-Elect Clint Brewer said, "Today’s vote demonstrated real progress in the fight to allow journalists to protect the identities of their confidential sources. The SPJ urges journalists and free speech proponents across this country to get involved, act and communicate with their legislators to let them know a free press is a requirement for a healthy democracy." "Having these bipartisan bills advance to this stage is very encouraging," echoed RTNDA president Barbara Cochran. "A federal shield law would safeguard journalists’ ability to gather important information from sources who would otherwise be reluctant to come forward. This is not an absolute privilege; this is not about disclosing information that would compromise security — for the nation or for individuals."