As the U.S. Senate continues to debate a national law to protect journalists from protecting their sources, two Senators believe unpaid bloggers and websites like WikiLeaks shouldn’t get extended First Amendment protections.The state decides who is legitimate media. And legitimate media happens to be defined as employees of establishment organizations with traditional revenue streams. What could possibly be wrong with that?
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.
The First Amendment was written, in part, to eliminate the kind of official press that parrots only the King’s sanctioned views. But with its revised “News Media Policies,” DOJ gets us closer to having just that, an official press.Oh well, at least the conversation will stay nice and "civil" the way John Georges likes it. No more "dangerous people" to worry about.
That’s because all the changes laid out in the new policy (some of which are good, some of which are obviously flawed) apply only to “members of the news media.” They repeat over and over and over and over, “news media.” I’m not sure they once utter the word “journalist” or “reporter.” And according to DOJ’s Domestic Investigation and Operations Guide, a whole slew of journalists are not included in their definition of “news media.”
But nobody gives a shit about this stuff anymore. Somewhere along the way we decided the internet was mostly going to be for streaming movies. Which is why the matter is lost... just like it was always going to be.