WLOX Editorial: Federal Shield Law for journalists needed

WLOX Editorial: Federal Shield Law for journalists needed

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Recently the Justice Department seized New York Times reporter Ali Watkins's private email data and her phone records as part of an investigation into a former Senate Intelligence Committee staffer. We view this as dangerous infringement on the Constitution's First Amendment which provides for freedom of the press.

Our founders knew it was important to have journalists free to hold the powerful, accountable by reporting to you. And it is just as important today. Journalists should be able to protect their sources, especially if the information sought can be gathered elsewhere.

We need to make sure journalists are free to do their jobs without interference from the very government on which they are reporting. Whether you agree or disagree with the reporting of a particular newspaper, television station, or any news operation, the loss of media freedom will certainly infringe on the free flow of information about our national, state, and local governments.

Some in both parties in Congress are considering a Federal Shield Law for journalists. We agree.

It's time to consider what would happen without a news media free to seek out information often hidden. The public would only know what those in power want you to know.

That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to editorials@wlox.com.

Rick Williams
WLOX-TV General Manager

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