From Yahoo! News: The Senate Free Flow of Information Act of 2013 would establish a national “shield law” that would give journalists protection from testifying in situations when investigators want the sources of confidential information used in media reports.
However, in today’s world, the definition of the word “journalist” means different things to different people, and two powerful Senators, Dianne Feinstein and Richard Durbin, say journalists only should enjoy extended First Amendment protection if they work for traditional media outlets on a paid basis.
“This bill is described as a reporter shield law — I believe it should be applied to real reporters,” Feinstein said last week. “The current version of the bill would grant a special privilege to people who aren’t really reporters at all, who have no professional qualifications.”
The Feinstein-Durbin proposed amendment would narrowly define journalists as “a salaried agent” of a media company.
Feinstein also reportedly said that the bill shouldn’t apply to WikiLeaks or “a 17-year-old who drops out of high school, buys a website for $5 and starts a blog.”