NPPA Encourages Members To Support The Free Flow Of Information Act 2013

Jun 10, 2013 Advocacy

DURHAM, NC (June 10, 2013) The National Press Photographers Association encourages you to write to your U.S. legislators asking them to support the Free Flow of Information Act 2013. In the wake of the seizure of Associated Press phone records and the investigation of journalists regarding leaks, it has become even more evident that we need a federal shield law.

The bill as proposed would provide clear and meaningful protection at the federal level for journalists against improper intrusion into the free press. The bill would prohibit demands for protected information (such as confidential source information) from journalists, unless a court determines that the public interest is better served by disclosure of the information than by protecting the journalist's source. The legislation includes carefully crafted exceptions for national security—in cases where a judge finds that the information sought is necessary to prevent terrorism or harm to national security, the information must be disclosed. However, a judge will still have to approve that request. In addition, the bill treats requests for records from third parties—such as phone companies—in the same manner as requests from journalists themselves, and requires notice to those journalists when such a request is made.

NPPA was part of a federal shield law coalition of more than 60 media organizations in 2009. That group has been reformed to introduce this bill. The legislation represents the product of extensive negotiations between the journalism community and the national security experts in the Administration, and has won the support of both the Administration and the Newspaper Association of America. It passed out of the Senate Judiciary committee by a strong bipartisan vote in 2009. In sum, the bill is a balanced approach that meets both the needs of the press and the needs of our national security.

While the government has a legitimate interest in preventing and investigating leaks of classified information, at the same time the public has a legitimate interest in a robust free press. NPPA believes that this bill strikes a fair and reasonable balance between those interests, and we urge you to write to your legislators asking that they support it.

Logged in members may access a sample letter for your U.S. Legislators here.

Below is a list of co-sponsors of the House and Senate bills

S. 987

Democrats

Sen Schumer, Charles E. [D-NY]

Sen Baldwin, Tammy [WI] 
Sen Baucus, Max [MT] 
Sen Bennet, Michael F. [CO] 
Sen Blumenthal, Richard [CT] 
Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA] 
Sen Cantwell, Maria [WA] 
Sen Harkin, Tom [IA] 
Sen Klobuchar, Amy [MN] 
Sen Murray, Patty [WA] 
Sen Tester, Jon [MT] 
Sen Udall, Tom [NM]

 

Republicans

Sen Ayotte, Kelly [NH]

Sen Blunt, Roy [MO] - 6/3/2013

Sen Graham, Lindsey [SC] - 5/16/2013

Sen Isakson, Johnny [GA] - 5/22/2013

 

 

H.R. 1962

Democrats

Rep Bustos, Cheri [IL-17] - 6/4/2013 
Rep Chu, Judy [CA-27] - 5/20/2013 
Rep Cohen, Steve [TN-9] - 5/20/2013 
Rep Conyers, John, Jr. [MI-13] - 5/15/2013 
Rep Costa, Jim [CA-16] - 6/5/2013 
Rep DelBene, Suzan K. [WA-1] - 5/22/2013 
Rep Deutch, Theodore E. [FL-21] - 5/20/2013 
Rep Enyart, William L. [IL-12] - 6/3/2013 
Rep Eshoo, Anna G. [CA-18] - 6/3/2013 
Rep Himes, James A. [CT-4] - 6/4/2013 
Rep Jackson Lee, Sheila [TX-18] - 5/20/2013 
Rep Jeffries, Hakeem S. [NY-8] - 5/21/2013 
Rep Johnson, Henry C. "Hank," Jr. [GA-4] - 5/20/2013 
Rep Langevin, James R. [RI-2] - 5/22/2013 
Rep Lofgren, Zoe [CA-19] - 5/20/2013 
Rep Markey, Edward J. [MA-5] - 5/20/2013 
Rep McCollum, Betty [MN-4] - 6/3/2013 
Rep Nadler, Jerrold [NY-10] - 5/20/2013 
Rep Nolan, Richard M. [MN-8] - 6/4/2013 
Rep Pascrell, Bill, Jr. [NJ-9] - 5/20/2013 
Rep Richmond, Cedric L. [LA-2] - 5/20/2013 
Rep Scott, Robert C. "Bobby" [VA-3] - 5/21/2013 
Rep Wasserman Schultz, Debbie [FL-23] - 6/5/2013 
Rep Yarmuth, John A. [KY-3] - 6/4/2013

 

Republicans

Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2]

Rep Chabot, Steve [OH-1] - 6/5/2013

Rep Coble, Howard [NC-6] - 5/20/2013

Rep Farenthold, Blake [TX-27] - 5/21/2013

Rep Granger, Kay [TX-12] - 6/5/2013

Rep Jordan, Jim [OH-4] - 6/4/2013

Rep Marchant, Kenny [TX-24] - 6/3/2013

Rep Messer, Luke [IN-6] - 6/3/2013

Rep Radel, Trey [FL-19] - 5/15/2013

Rep Stutzman, Marlin A. [IN-3] - 6/3/2013