Durbin-Feinstein amendment would restrict citizen journalism

The heck with this...

Just within a matter of weeks we espoused the notion that the central (federal) government is constantly trying to pry into the lives – in any way possible – of the citizenry. Furthermore, we have written additional articles in our Founding Father’s Quotes Friday (FFQF) about how the original founders – in their own words – felt about an all encompassing, or over-reaching government presence that would be counter-productive to the people of America. (Please see here and here.)
The Senate Judiciary Committee is meeting this morning to discuss the long-awaited extension of press shield protections into federal courts. The key question up for grabs in S. 448 is who counts as a “journalist” and therefore can generally protect her confidential sources from a prosecutor’s reach — the original bill states that a journalist “means a person who is engaged in journalism,” while the Durbin-Feinstein amendment would restrict these protections to someone who is “working as a salaried employee of, or independent contractor for” some media organization.
S.448 Title: A bill to maintain the free flow of information to the public by providing conditions for the federally compelled disclosure of information by certain persons connected with the news media. Sponsor: Sen. Specter, Arlen [PA] (introduced 2/13/2009) Cosponsors (10) Latest Major Action: 12/3/2009 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on the Judiciary.
The Senate was on track to do better by citizen journalism than the House given some pressure. But now, two key Democrats have introduced an amendment that would put citizen journalists at risk, giving protections to only established journalists.
This is absurd; moreover, outrageous in a nation founded on the principles of valuing and respecting the free speech of others. It seems they only want their cronies in the mainstream media to be free. The rest of us can go hang. Durbin and Feinstein. What should one expect from the likes of them?
If they get their way, these are the conditions that would apply, defining journalists and ensuring Federal protections were in place. But only under these conditions, click here for further reading.
Special hat-tip to Dan Riehl for the inspiration and to the DAILY KOS who broke the story.



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