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Journalists shouldn’t blindly support the shield law without taking in the whole picture.

Behind the NewsWhen a Senate committee this month approved the “Free Flow of Information Act of 2013,” applause was heard from scores of media shield law supporters, from the Newspaper Association of America to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. To them, the news came as a relief after revelations the feds had secretly seized Associated Press phone records and labeled a Fox News reporter a criminal “co-conspirator” as an excuse to get his emails. So perhaps it isn’t surprising that the AP story on the bill and newspaper coverage generally was unburdened by complexity: Long-overdue shield law advances; journalists to protect confidential sources and information. Yet magazine websites told a different story, one of a flawed law with holes that worry “even some supporters.” This raises a question: Shouldn’t the critics get more attention in the mainstream coverage?

Read the full post at Columbia Journalism Review

Eric Newton  
 
Nonresidential fellow



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