Federal Shield Bill introduced in the House and Senate
Kentucky has one of the oldest, perhaps the oldest, Shield Law in the country. It dates to 1952. KPA has not been active in pushing for the federal Shield Law because of KRS 421.100. The legislation has not been changed since it was first passed some 70 years ago.
421.100 Newspaper, radio or television broadcasting station personnel need not disclose source of information
No person shall be compelled to disclose in any legal proceeding or trial before any court, or before any grand or petit jury, or before the presiding officer of any tribunal, or his agent or agents, or before the General Assembly, or any committee thereof, or before any city or county legislative body, or any committee thereof, or elsewhere, the source of any information procured or obtained by him, and published in a newspaper or by a radio or television broadcasting station by which he is engaged or employed, or with which he is connected.
From News Media Alliance
Groundbreaking investigative stories of government corruption and other wrongdoings would remain unknown – both to the public and to Congress – without information gathered from confidential sources by investigative journalists. Actions by the government to learn journalists’ confidential sources undermine the ability of the press, as outlined in the First Amendment, to provide important information to the public about such transgressions.
The legislation introduced now in both the House and Senate would prevent government overreach in obtaining confidential information that would expose anonymous sources and jeopardize the public’s right to know, while at the same time enabling law enforcement officials to get the information they need to investigate and prosecute crimes to keep the nation secure.