According to Editor & Publisher and other sources, the Senate has worked out the wrinkles of a federal shield law to protect news gatherers from being forced to reveal confidential sources. The issues holding it up were from the White House involving classified leaks and national security issues.
The major surprise however is it apparently covers freelancers and “citizen journalists,” a euphemism used to describe bloggers.
The negotiated compromise creates a fair standard to protect the public interest, journalists, the news media, bloggers, prosecutors and litigants," said Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., a cosponsor of the Free Flow of Information Act.The revised bill would also extend protections for freelance or citizen journalists by defining a journalist by the nature of activity engaged in rather than by the organization that employs the reporter.
Earlier this year, the House passed its version of the bill. This is good news for citizen journalists.