The National Newspaper Association welcomes progress in the Senate on the Free Flow of Information Act, S 987, said NNA’s president, Robert M. Williams Jr., chair and publisher of the SouthFire Newspaper Group in Blackshear, GA.
The journalists’ first federal protection against having to reveal confidential sources, except in national security or similarly compelling circumstances, advances to the Senate floor. Similar protections are already afforded by the states.
“Community newspapers stand with our larger journalistic brethren in calling for Congress to recognize journalists’ need to do their jobs without constant threat of subpoenas hanging over their heads. In today’s world, Congress must help our readers to keep themselves informed by encouraging sound journalism free from threats from invasive investigations related only to the way we do our work,” Williams said.
NNA vigorously objected to the seizure of The Associated Press telephone records by the U.S. Justice Department without notice to the AP.
“In our democracy, the executive branch cannot be judge, jury and executioner,” Williams said. “This bill would re-establish the courts as the proper protectors of our rights. NNA calls on the Senate to move this bill to passage as soon as possible.”
Read S 987 here.