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RTNDA Calls for Federal Shield Law for Reporters
12/17/2004

The Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) wants to see a federal shield law. Such a law, said the association, would protect reporters such as Jim Taricani, who has been sentenced to six months in home confinement for refusing to name a confidential source. RTNDA said 31 states and the District of Columbia have shield laws.

Taricani, a reporter at an NBC-TV affiliate in Rhode Island, was convicted of criminal contempt in federal court because he would not disclose who had given him an FBI videotape related to government corruption probe.

"An increasing number of journalists are facing loss of personal liberty because of their efforts to inform the public of wrongdoing," the association's president, Barbara Cochran, said.

"It is time for a federal shield law to protect reporters like Jim and those facing contempt of court rulings in other ongoing investigations."

(from Radio World)
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