Wisconsin’s state senate today passed, by a voice vote, shield legislation that would protect confidential sources and newsgathering materials, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
The bill will now go to Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle for his signature.
Wisconsin’s Whistleblower Protection Act would provide journalists with a qualified privilege to protect them from testifying and revealing confidential sources or newsgathering information. Disclosure could only be compelled if the information is highly relevant to the case, not otherwise obtainable, and disclosure is in the overriding public interest.
Wisconsin would be the second state this month to pass shield legislation if the bill is signed. Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson signed the state’s bill into law April 15, making it the 38th state — along with the District of Columbia — to enact a shield statute.