Thursday, May 20, 2010

UPDATE: Wisc. Shields Journos With Whistleblower Protection Act

Great Seal of the state of WisconsinImage via Wikipedia
Wisconsin Gov. James Doyle, Jr., yesterday signed into law the Whistleblower Protection Act [2009 A.B. 333, Wis. Stats. 885.14] that protects journalists and their confidential sources(see "TUOL" post 4/22/10).

The Wisc. Newspaper Assn., Wisc. Broadcasters Assn. and the Wisc. Freedom of Information Council worked together to draft the bill that makes  the Badger State the 39th in the nation to enact a shield law.  The law takes effect in three months.

The Whistleblower Protection Act defines a news person as a gatherer and disseminator of news to the public through any medium, including print publications, books, news agencies or wire services, broadcast, cable, satellite or electronic services.  Case law will be the final arbiter, but it appears the act would encompass online journalists.

The legislation imposes restrictions on the issuance of subpoenas to nonjournalists if the underlying purpose is to obtain information from the individuals concerning an interaction involving a journalist that the statute would protect from disclosure.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

No comments:

Post a Comment