Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), backed by Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), has proposed an amendment to a journalist shield law sponsored by Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier in the month. She wants to choose who can and who cannot be considered a journalist.
Schumer’s shield law bill’s purpose is aimed at protecting journalists’ sources. A renewed push for stronger media shield laws came after disclosures earlier this year that the Justice Department secretly subpoenaed two months’ of telephone records for phone lines used by reporters and editors for The Associated Press and secretly used a warrant to obtain the emails of a FOX News journalist.
“We need a strong media shield bill now more than ever,” Schumer said. “This is an important step forward that strengthens this bipartisan bill and should give it even more momentum to clear the committee and the Senate by the end of the year.”
The New York Democrat’s effort came complete with a four-page explanation of who would be protected under the law, summarily, a person “with the primary intent to investigate events and procure material in order to disseminate to the public news or information concerning local, national or international events or other matters of public interest.”