Statement: Senator Wyden Introduces Federal Shield Bill, the Protect Reporters from Excessive State Suppression (PRESS) Act

The News Media Alliance applauds Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) for today introducing the Protect Reporters from Excessive State Suppression (PRESS) Act, which establishes reasonable ground rules for when the government can obtain confidential source information from the media and their third-party service providers.

Whether it is the mistreatment of soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, safety problems at nuclear power plants, or reporting on the government’s secret and warrantless wiretapping program, groundbreaking stories would remain unknown – both to the public and to Congress – without information gathered from confidential sources by investigative journalists.

The legislation introduced today by Senator Wyden prevents government overreach in obtaining information that would expose sources and jeopardize the public’s right to know, while at the same time, enables law enforcement officials to get the information they need to investigate and prosecute crimes to keep the nation secure.

Alliance President and CEO, David Chavern, stated, “Our nation’s history has shown that confidential sources are often crucial to helping journalists shed light on important public matters critical to a strong democracy. We are grateful to Senator Wyden for his leadership on this issue and we look forward to working with him and others in Congress to enact this important legislation.”

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