The Buffalo News features a nice editorial on why President-elect Obama should make a federal shield law a priority. (A shield law is a law that protects journalists from having to reveal confidential sources. Currently, some states have shield laws, but there is no federal shield law. Check here to see if your state has one.)
The Society of Professional Journalists has also recently called upon Obama to support a federal shield law as he indicated he would do during the campaign.
With the economy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s safe to say that gathering support for a federal shield law is not one of Obama’s top priorities. However, it should be. If we are going to get this country back on track, we need journalists to hold people in power accountable. To do that, they need to know they are not going to face prison for reporting an accurate story with an anonymous source whom they refuse to reveal. Journalists want “change we can believe in,” too.