As journalists we aspire to seek truth, expose the wrong and set those within government straight, in fact it is what we spend all of our lives doing.
It seems so simple, just speak out and expose the wrong. But if only it were that easy.
From time to time, journalists will find information, some fact which targets an individual, a fact which they think the public has every right to hear.
With some cases like these we must keep sources confidential in hopes to keep them safe and away from harm.
Sadly, people do not like knowing the whole truth to an issue and therefore will attempt to force the journalists to give up their anonymous sources and ruin the name of the writer who promised the victim security.
But finally there is a savior among journalists everywhere, a federal shield law has been brought to the attention of the government, and finally, our rights and those who aid us will be protected.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to vote in the near future on Senate Bill 448, a law to protect journalists from prosecution in federal criminal or civil cases.
Honestly, we shouldn’t even have had to pass a law like this because it should not have been an issue in the media. Why does a journalist, who is doing their job, have to make a choice between revealing an identity or going to jail?
The only reason stories like these are even possible to release is because of the protection offered to cooperative source.
The Obama administration has decided to change the Free Flow of Information Act weakening the shield law which will offer little to no protection to reporters.
Journalists everywhere are outraged that Obama had turned his back on his statements made during the election on the importance of federal shield laws and how they are vital to the existence of a free press.
Why is it he supported this bill as a senator and would not follow through with his support while President of the United States?
Was it just a campaign promise that will be dumped with the rest of our promised hopes and dreams?
It is said that the reason there is no law is because certain officials believe that they must keep journalists “tied down” to ensure that we do not cause any disruption among law enforcement, national security and much more.
But the truth is, that without the law we are being hindered from our own jobs, putting distance between the American people and the government.
The public has and will always have the right to know and it is our job to keep that steady connection flowing. This law is vital for a free press and a vibrant democracy, where else can we uphold society and politics but in America. Why change that now?
Journalism has been protected for over 100 years, though there have been discrepancies and outbreaks, it all boils down to one thing, obtaining the truth.
And with this law we will be able to go to those who are a wealth of knowledge and be able to use their input without exposing them to the masses.
Do not side with the crowd that views journalism as lies and conspiracies to tear down the public.
Instead we should no longer question how to detain journalism but instead how to uplift it and make it better than our forefathers dreamed.
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