Senate Dems, White House Reach Compromise on Federal Shield Law

october 30, 2009  04:37 pm
The compromise bill would allow federal judges to quash government subpoenas against reporters if they determine that the public interest in the news outweighs the government's need to uncover the source of that news, including some disclosures of classified national security information. The bill would also extend shield protection to unpaid bloggers engaged in newsgathering. "We've come a long way in these negotiations and have now reached a compromise that strikes the right balance between national security concerns and the public's right to know," Sen. Charles Schumer said in a statement. The Times notes that the compromise could still falter if press groups object to the concessions made to prosecutors. "This is a huge deal, but it's not a done deal," Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press executive director Lucy Dalglish says. "And quite honestly, until all of the media coalition members sign off on it, it's not a deal."