“Free Flow of Information Act” Targets Independent Journalism
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
The fact that the US Senate is now defining what a journalist actually is sets a dangerous precedent threatening the present marketplace of ideas that in recent history has been greatly expanded by the internet.
According to the text of an amendment sponsored by Senators Diane Feinstein and Dick Durbin to the proposed “Free Flow of Information Act” (PDF) that passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 12, only salaried journalists will be given the free press protections guaranteed to all US citizens by the Constitution.
Under such a law presumably only the news reporters and analysts employed by moderate-to-substantial revenue-generating news entities are regarded as “legitimate” journalists. This is because the Feinstein-Durbin amendment’s wording is especially vague on exactly what type of news organization the writer needs to be affiliated with to be able to comment and report freely.