SOURCE: Newspaper Association of America

May 01, 2007 13:58 ET

Members of Congress to Re-Introduce Federal Shield Legislation; Sponsors to Speak at Press Conference at 1 p.m. May 2

WASHINGTON, DC -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 1, 2007 -- A bi-partisan bill to pass a federal shield law will be re-introduced by U.S. Representatives Rick Boucher (D-VA), John Conyers (D-MI), Mike Pence (R-IN), Howard Coble (R-NC), and John Yarmuth (D-KY) in the House and Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Christopher Dodd (D-CT) in the Senate. A coalition representing more than 40 media companies and other journalistic organizations applaud the re-introduction of the bill and representatives will participate in the press conference.

Over the last few years more than 30 reporters have been subpoenaed or questioned about their confidential sources, notes and work product in criminal and civil cases in federal court. By passing the "Free Flow of Information Act of 2007," Congress would set a federal standard for protecting confidential sources and journalists and maintaining the free flow of information to the public.

Currently, 32 states and the District of Columbia have "shield" laws in force in state courts and 17 other states have recognized a reporter's privilege as a result of judicial decisions. However, in federal courts there is no uniform set of standards to govern when testimony can be sought from reporters. The Free Flow of Information Act of 2007 would establish balanced ground rules for compelled disclosure of sources and information from reporters seeking to report information on matters of public interest, such as waste, fraud and abuse in government and in the private sector.

WHAT:  News briefing on re-introduction of federal shield law in House and
       Senate

WHO:   U.S. Representative Rick Boucher (D-VA)
       U.S. Representative Mike Pence (R-IN)
       U.S. Representative John Yarmuth (D-KY)
       John Sturm, president and CEO, Newspaper Association of America
       David Rehr, president and CEO, National Association of Broadcasters
       Lucy Dalglish, executive director, The Reporters Committee for
        Freedom of the Press

WHERE: 2226 Rayburn House Office Building

WHEN:  1:00 pm EDT, Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Contact Information