Senators, J-Groups, White House Agree on Shield Law Provisions

November 4, 2009

Federal legislation to protect reporters from having to reveal confidential sources may be back on track after a deal was reached last week by key senators, journalism groups, and the White House. A markup in the Senate Judiciary Committee, possibly November 5, 2009, could tell.

The tentative agreement reportedly narrows a national security exemption to the "reporters privilege" of confidentiality, and an extension of the shield to many freelancers and bloggers. The exact language of the compromise has not yet been released.

The shield law bill (S 448) had been stuck in Senate Judiciary for months.