Victims' Rights Caucus



Madam Speaker, journalists should be able to report the news without having to worry about getting arrested for not revealing their confidential sources. Our Nation needs a Federal shield law to further protect the freedom of speech and press.

   Recently, several journalists have been arrested and jailed for not disclosing their anonymous sources. These arrests did not occur in foreign countries run by dictators but happened here in America. Putting journalists in jail for not confessing their sources tramples on the Nation's freedom of speech and freedom of the press. These freedoms in the first amendment are first because, without them, the rest are meaningless.

   More than 30 States so far have passed laws that protect reporters from being required to testify and name confidential sources, but there is no Federal law.

   The job of a journalist is to report the news and not be an arm of the government or controlled by our government. Law enforcement officials should not force journalists to gather information or find witnesses.

   A free press means free and independent of government intrusion into the sources of reporters.

   Madam Speaker, the country needs a Federal shield law because, instead of getting a reporter arrested, the truth should set them free.

   And that's just the way it is.