Thursday, January 26, 2006

Journos' group favors one of two Wash. shield bills

As the Washington state legislature prepares to take up two competing bills that would protect journalists' sources, the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has thrown its support behind one version of the bill, saying it would prefer no law at all to the other, Associated Press reports.

Both bills -- one filed by Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna and the other by Rep. Brendan Williams (D-Olympia) -- would generally protect reporters from revealing their sources. But the Williams bill would go farther, protecting unpublished notes, out-takes, tapes and photographs.

According to AP, the SPJ chapter would rather have no change than have McKenna's bill become law. "We would be perfectly happy to leave things as they are if you can't get the right bill," chapter treasurer Marcus Donner told AP.

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