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Debate over Hawaii shield law delays vote

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  1. Protecting Sources and Materials
Media attorney Jeff Portnoy met with prosecutors and the Hawaii Attorney General’s Office this morning to try and come to…

Media attorney Jeff Portnoy met with prosecutors and the Hawaii Attorney General’s Office this morning to try and come to an agreement on language for the state’s shield law bill.

The state Senate Judiciary Committee was slated to vote on the bill today, but has postponed action until Tuesday because of the meeting.

After holding a public hearing earlier in the week on HB 2557, members of the committee asked journalists and prosecutors to work together to reach a compromise regarding the bill.

One source of disagreement concerns a section of the bill, which limits compelled disclosure of sources or unpublished information for “journalists, newscasters and persons participating in the collection or dissemination of news or information.” Nontraditional journalists, such as bloggers, will have to prove they are providing news in the public’s interest in order to be covered.