Skip to main content

House Passes PRESS Act By Unanimous Vote

Capital
(Image credit: USGS.gov)

WASHINGTON—The House of Representatives on Monday unanimously passed the PRESS Act, which would establish federal protection to prevent journalists from being compelled to reveal confidential sources and prevent federal law enforcement from abusing subpoena power. The bill, also known as —H.R.4330 - Protect Reporters from Exploitative State Spying Act (PRESS Act) now goes to the Senate, which is also expected to approve it.

Bill sponsor Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) applauded its passage.

“Today is a triumphant day for press freedom,” said Rep. Raskin. “With the PRESS Act closer than ever to becoming law, a federal press shield law is within reach that affords journalists protection from government overreach and abuse of the subpoena power. I’m grateful to Representatives Yarmuth and Lieu for their partnership in this effort to make good on this foundational constitutional promise, and I urge our colleagues in the Senate to advance the central, bipartisan mission of protecting a truly free and unmuzzled press—by sending this legislation to the president’s desk.”

The PRESS Act has the endorsement of Demand Progress, News Media Alliance (NMA), News Leaders Association, MPA – The Association of Magazine Media, Protect the 1st, Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA), Reporters Without Borders (RSF), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the National Association of Broadcasters, which also commended the vote.

"NAB commends the House of Representatives for passing the PRESS Act with overwhelming bipartisan support,” said NAB President Curtis LeGeyt. “A free press is a necessary and vital hallmark of American democracy, enabling the unencumbered reporting of news and information that affects our communities, our nation and the world. This legislation honors the sanctity of journalists’ relationship with their sources and ensures members of the press may continue their important work without fear or favor. We appreciate the leadership of Reps. Raskin, Lieu and Yarmuth on this legislation and look forward to working with their counterparts in the Senate to pass this important bill into law."

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.