Thousands of SAG-AFTRA members are working journalists and they need to know that they will not be compelled to reveal the confidential sources they depend on to cover important news stories. Without a federal shield law, reporters face dire penalties, including imprisonment and/or severe fines, for upholding their professional code of ethics to report news in the public interest. Federal legislation is critical to preserving a free and open press. This is not just a critical issue for journalists, but for all of us who need to receive accurate information in order to make informed decisions.
Although 49 states and the District of Columbia recognize some form of a reporter’s privilege, no such recognition exists on the federal level. The Free Flow of Information Act was first introduced in 2006 — and has been reintroduced every session to date — to establish a federal shield law providing significant protections to journalists. SAG-AFTRA continues to support this legislation and we need your help.
This year, the Senate Bill number is S. 987, and it is expected to come before the Senate this summer. On behalf of our thousands of SAG-AFTRA member journalists, we ask that you urge your senator to support it.
Without these protections in place, the result is a chilling effect on journalists who fear federal prosecution or being subpoenaed. A federal shield law is necessary not only to safeguard journalists, but also to encourage people to come forward and speak out.
Representatives need to know they should vote for S.987.
PLEASE HELP BY CALLING THESE SENATORS TODAY! Ask them to schedule a vote for S.987 as soon as possible, and PASS IT!
Click here to find your representative’s number.
SAG-AFTRA is a union that has among its members a diverse group of performers, broadcasters and newscasters. This call to action should not be interpreted as a personal statement of opinion by or of any specific member of the union.