Federal shield law supporters examine whether law would protect James Risen

Jeff Zalesin | Reporter's Privilege | News | July 22, 2013
July 22, 2013

First Amendment advocates continue to call for a federal shield law in the wake of the Fourth Circuit appeals court's ruling last week that New York Times reporter James Risen must identify a source—a decision that some say could have gone the other way if Congress had enacted a nationwide reporter’s privilege.

Senators modify media shield bill to include Attorney General's changes to Justice policy

Nicole Lozare | Reporter's Privilege | News | July 18, 2013
July 18, 2013

A bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday introduced an amendment to the federal shield bill in an effort to cement Attorney General Eric Holder’s recommended changes regarding the Justice Department’s guidelines when issuing subpoenas to journalists.

Reporters Committee letter to Senate Judiciary Committee

March 4, 2013

The Reporters Committee wrote to the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee asking them to question Attorney General Eric Holder about the Department of Justice's policy of releasing booking photographs under FOIA. The Marshals Service had unilaterally determined not to honor such requests despite a federal appellate court's longstanding decision that the photographs do not implicate individual privacy.

Department of Labor implements new "lock-up" policy for media

Amanda Simmons | Content Regulation | News | July 10, 2012
July 10, 2012

The U.S. Department of Labor began implementing parts of its new, slightly more-friendly media policy regarding journalists' access to embargoed job statistics. In response to publicized media concerns, the policy, which takes full effect on Sept. 5, gives credentialed reporters the option of using their own department-approved newsgathering equipment during the "lock-ups."

Media object to proposed Department of Labor press controls in Congressional hearing

Amanda Simmons | Content Regulation | News | June 6, 2012
June 6, 2012

News media executives and free press advocates expressed concern today at a House congressional committee regarding the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposal to require journalists to use government-owned equipment when reporting newly released government job statistics.

FOIA and technology hot topic at House oversight subcommittee hearing

Andrea Papagianis | Freedom of Information | Feature | March 22, 2012
March 22, 2012

The importance of streamlining agency efforts to fill federal Freedom of Information Act requests was the hot topic at a subcommittee hearing yesterday of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in the U.S. House of Representatives.

House Judiciary Comm. takes on Wikileaks, Espionage Act

Christine Beckett | Prior Restraints | Feature | December 16, 2010
December 16, 2010

The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee held a hearing Thursday to address the Wikileaks controversy and discuss the future of the Espionage Act in light of demands that the government prosecute the site's founder, Julian Assange. The committee heard testimony from lawyers and advocates that stressed the importance of finding a balance between government transparency and maintaining national security secrets.

Congress again seeks to ban release of torture photos

Miranda Fleschert | Freedom of Information | Feature | October 8, 2009
October 8, 2009

Barring the release of photos depicting abuse of detainees in U.S. custody was again the subject of a legislative amendment in the U.S. Senate this week when language that supports President Obama's intent to keep the photos from public disclosure was attached to the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill.

Houses passes federal shield bill

Samantha Fredrickson | Reporter's Privilege | Feature | March 31, 2009
March 31, 2009

A federal shield bill that would give reporters a qualified privilege from revealing confidential sources was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday night.

H.R. 985, known as the Free Flow of Information Act of 2009, was passed by a voice vote under a suspension of the rules, a typical procedure used to pass non-controversial bills. The bill is identical to the bill that was passed in 2007 by a vote of 398 to 21.

Federal shield law moves out of House committee

Ahnalese Rushmann | Reporter's Privilege | Feature | March 25, 2009
March 25, 2009

The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved a federal shield bill that aims to protect journalists from compelled disclosure of their confidential sources, in language identical to that of a 2007 bill that overwhelmingly passed the U.S. House of Representatives. The new bill heads next to the floor for a new, full House vote.