Bloggers (and unpopular press) not eligible under ‘Shield Law’

Alright. so by posting on this, it sounds like a blatent case of self-interest. But it actually feeds my fair-play ideals than anything much else..

According to senator Richard Lugar (R.-Ind.), the Shield Law provision of the ‘Free Flow of Information Act of 2005′ would not protect bloggers, yet is written widely enough to cover anything from the New York Times to the hometown newsletter, to Internet-only publications.

So why do the “real publications” (sic) need something like this Shield Law provision? Supposedly it is so they don’t have to reveal thier sources when under oath; Allows whistle-blowers stay anonymous and rumor-starters to need no accountability. This has been related to a doctor-patient or a priest-confessional relationship. I can see how the concept might have been linked, but it should never have been accepted as such.

A doctor needs certain information from thier patients so the doctor can save thier life. Such as things the patient has done that might not be all that legal. Without this information the doctor cannot properly save lives.

The relationship within a religion should be considered private, because without an assumption of trust, priests cannot properly tend to thier flock. Invasion of this relationship interfers with the practice of that religion, causing bad kharma all around.

There are very few other cases where an assumption of secrecy is required. Usually it is because it interferes with certain vital social functions; the doctor’s ability to save certain unmentioned body parts, the preacher’s ability to save souls, and a defense attorney’s ability to save thier clients certain other unmentioned body parts.

So how is it so important that the press recieves this special benifit? The most obvious answer is so they can protect the identity of whistle-blowers - people who are afraid of backlash for speaking about corruption in thier company. But there are other answers. It allows reporters to cover up felonies they commit; such as the knowing and willfull reception of classified materials. This legislation creates an assumption of privacy for the press’ sources where there should not be one. And, thanks to senator Lugar’s interpretation, it sets up a division line between state-sponsored media outlets and the media outlets created by regular folk.


Leave a Comment

Your first comment is human moderated to reduce spam. It can take us a while (hours) to do that. Subsequent comments will appear much faster. We greatly sympathize with any frustration this causes, but given the amount of spam we have to deal with already we're not likely to change things soon.

You must be logged in to post a comment.