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Lugar Files Companion Reporter’s Shield Bill in Senate

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  1. Protecting Sources and Materials
Sen. Dick Lugar, R-IN, has introduced a reporter’s shield bill – the Free Flow of Information Act (S 340) –…

Sen. Dick Lugar, R-IN, has introduced a reporter’s shield bill – the Free Flow of Information Act (S 340) – in the Senate as a companion to the bill filed earlier (HR 581)by Rep. Mike Spence, also an Indiana Republican. Sen. Chris Dodd, D-CT, who introduced a shield bill in the last session, joined as a co-sponsor but later refiled his earlier bill as well (S 369). Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, is also co-sponroring. Lugar in intruducing the bill said, “It is important that we ensure reporters certain rights and abilities to seek sources and report appropriate information without fear of intimidation or imprisonment. … Promises of confidentiality are essential to the flow of information the public needs about its government.” The companion bills would give reporters an absolute privilege from being compelled to disclose their sources. They also provides protection against the subpoenaing of records on reporters phone calls or e-mails. The bills cover the entity that publishes the report, and its “employees, contractors and other persons who gather, edit, photograph, record, prepare or disseminate news or information for such an entity.” (2/16/05)

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