•  
  •  
 
Texas A&M Law Review

Document Type

Comment

Abstract

The Constitution expressly provides protection for the freedom of the press. Yet there is one area in which the press is not so free: the freedom to refuse disclosing confidential sources when subpoenaed by the federal government. Currently, there is no federal reporter’s privilege. The Supreme Court has held the First Amendment provides no such protection, and repeated congressional attempts to codify a reporter’s privilege in a federal shield law have failed.

Arguments against a shield law include national security concerns and the struggle to precisely define “journalist.” Such concerns were evident in the most recently proposed shield law, the Free Flow of Information Act of 2017. This Comment advocates in favor of passing a federal shield law. Specifically, this Comment analyzes the Free Flow of Information Act of 2017 against the backdrop of a post-9/11 America where “fake news” runs rampant. Though far from perfect, the proposed law was a step toward balancing national security concerns with press freedom. Legislators can and should strike an effective balance between these two tensions by accurately defining terms like “national security” and “properly classified” to prevent government overreach. Finally, this Comment argues that a federal shield law is necessary to combat the recent national security concerns raised by “fake news” and thereby reaffirm media credibility.

DOI

10.37419/LR.V7.I2.4

First Page

419

Last Page

451

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.