Journalists in Hawaii may receive protection from being forced to reveal confidential sources, recordings and notes if Congress passes any one of three proposed shield bills working their way through the state legislature.
The measures differ over the definitions of who is covered, but all aim to protect both traditional news reporters and Web-based journalists, which is a subject area the majority of current shield laws don’t explicitly address. The law would spare journalists from prosecution for not complying with court orders or subpoenas from the courts or other governmental organizations.
If any of these bills are enacted, Hawaii would join the more than 30 other states and the District of Columbia, which already have shield laws.
A hearing on the first proposed shield bill could come as early as next week.