One of the neat things about this country is that no one is allowed to define who the media is. So the Washington Post and Aunt Patsey and her quilting newsletter are both media. Now I don’t always like this – would really rather not be included with some news shows or yellow journalism rags – but in order to have true freedom, we have to include equality for all media.
There’s a Federal Shield Law working its way through the system and it’s a great idea. More or less. It protects media – but apparently only those who earn “a significant portion” of their income from their work as journalists.
The Washington Post states that:
The bill would protect news reporters, under most circumstances, from being legally compelled to reveal sources who have requested confidentiality. The protections would apply only to people who earn a significant portion of their livelihoods as journalists. They would not apply in criminal investigations or prosecutions of leaks of classified information that significantly harm national security, unless a judge ruled that the public interest outweighs those concerns. Journalists who are involved in or an eyewitness to a crime would not be protected.
Hmmm…gonna hunt down the actual bill and check the wording. If this puppy passes, looks like the government will be able to define who media is. Once that starts, who know where it will end…