I. Introduction: History & Background

In 1990 the Colorado General Assembly acknowledged that "an informed citizenry, which results from the free flow of information between citizens and the mass media, and the preservation of news information sources for the mass media is of vital concern to all the people of the state of Colorado." This acknowledgment served as a platform for adopting broad statutory protections for newspapers, magazines, television and radio broadcasters and other publishers of information. As enacted, the Colorado Press Shield Law provides a qualified privilege for materials and information obtained by a newsperson in the course of newsgathering activities. The shield laws' qualified protections extend to both confidential and non-confidential sources, and apply to civil and criminal actions as well as administrative proceedings.