Professional journalists are in, bloggers are out, and prosecutors are unhappy about a bill expected to be filed that would help protect journalists’ confidential sources, reports the Houston Chronicle. The proposal would put Texas in line with 32 other states that limit the ability of prosecutors and civil litigants to force journalists to name confidential sources or release information that has not been broadcast or published. Several incidents over the past two years have intensified the debate over whether journalists should be able to keep their sources and material secret.
“What’s happened has been a progressive increase in the number of subpoenas that have been issued to television stations and the print media to the extent that it’s interfering with them getting their work done,” said Laura Prather, a lawyer working on the issue with the Texas Association of Broadcasters, the Texas Daily Newspaper Association and the Texas Press Association. Prather said the law is needed so that whistle-blowers in government and private industry will feel comfortable talking to the media without fear of their identities becoming known.