The Society of Professional Journalists Thursday
called on Congress to pass the federal shield law bill before time runs out on
the session. There are only a handful of days left before legislators exit to
try to get reelected.
"Delays in passing S. 448 continue to place
U.S. journalists at risk of heavy civil fines and imprisonment. That leads to
reluctance to investigate stories and ultimately is a disservice to the
American public and an open, democratic society," said SPJ in calling for
After much negotiation with Republicans and the
Obama administration, bill backers secured passage of the Free Flow of
Information Act in the House and the Senate Judiciary Committee, but it has yet
to get a vote in the Senate.
Journalist groups have been trying for decades to get a shield law
through Congress, but this latest effort was thought to have been the best
chance yet of finally pushing it over the finish line.