Congressmen Rick Boucher (D-VA) and Mike Pence (R-IN) released the following statement regarding an agreement on media shield legislation adopted yesterday by the Senate Judiciary Committee which has been endorsed by the Director of National Intelligence and Attorney General:
We are pleased that an agreement has been reached to advance the Free Flow of Information Act. We support this breakthrough agreement, which is a victory for the public’s right to know and for the ability of reporters to bring information on the most critical issues of the day to light,” Boucher and Pence said.
The absence of federal legislation protecting reporters' sources limits the public's access to information which is so vital to the functioning of a democratic society. The press allows citizens to serve as watchdogs, speaking out about and often exposing illegal, corrupt, or dangerous activities by both private and government actors. Our legislation ensures the primacy of the public's right to know in federal cases. We look forward to swift passage of the amended version of the legislation by the Senate and should the legislation be presented to the House without further amendment, we would urge our colleagues to accept it,” they concluded.
The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday adopted a substitute amendment, the result of an agreement reached last month by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the White House and several journalistic organizations to advance legislation in the Senate which would create a federal law to protect reporters from being compelled to reveal their confidential news sources in federal court proceedings. A version of the shield legislation, authored by Congressmen Boucher and Pence, was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives in March