Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mass. Shield Bill Fizzles in Legislature

Yesterday, The Patriot Ledger carried a story on the apparent death of a reporters' shield bill in Massachusetts.
"The effort to pass a shield law in Massachusetts offering protections to journalists and their anonymous sources was declared dead by its supporters on Monday.

"The bill would have put Massachusetts among 34 other states and the District of Columbia that have shield laws. Three days remain before the Legislature adjourns from formal session on Thursday night, and the bill has not emerged from the judiciary committee."
I was part of the ad hoc group advocating for this bill, which was spearheaded by Charles Kravetz, president of New England Cable News, and joined by a cross-section of print and broadcast media representatives. It seemed for a time that the bill had a good chance of at least making it out of committee and to the floor for a vote, but with the formal session ending tomorrow, that no longer seems likely. The legislature remains in informal session through the end of December, so it is possible something could still happen, just not, it now appears, likely.

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