Nov 022009
Authors: Collegian Editorial Board

Imagine an America in which there is no check on the government.

An America whose political leaders could run free, making decisions willy-nilly without the knowledge or input of the public –/the people who legitimize the power of those leaders and who expect accountability from their representation.

An America whose citizens are afraid to talk to the media about the corruption they’ve experienced for fear of retribution from the corrupt.

This is an America without a media shield law.

Shield laws provides journalists some protection against being forced to disclose sources or confidential information in state court.

It sometimes happens that people will only share information about weasling CEOs and the fact that their companies are selling rotten meat when granted anonymity. And without these stories, the rest of the worlds’ weasling CEOs and penny-picking companies would begin to think they could get away with their corrupt schemes.

On Halloween, the White House and key senators reached a compromise on a national shield law, according to the Washington Post, but limited the application in cases involving federal criminal prosecutions and national security.

Currently, 36 states and the District of Columbia offer shield law protections. That means that the hundreds of journalists in the 14 remaining states are not able to report to the fullest extent –/protecting their readers’ interests.

With the compromising bill expected to be voted upon by the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday it is vital that leaders understand the importance of the media’s right of protection in order to maintain necessary checks and balances in our country.

A national shield law is vital; make the right decision.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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