29 May Tell your senator to support Shield Law
Congress is considering the Free Flow of Information Act, and SPJ is asking journalists across the country to contact your U.S. senators by Friday to urge them to pass a federal shield law.
In my first stint on the national SPJ board in the mid 2000s, I didn’t support SPJ’s endorsement of the idea. But times have changed. Journalists are increasingly under fire for doing their jobs, as recent cases involving journalists at The Associated Press and Fox News’ James Rosen show.
1. Go to http://www.spj.org/shieldlaw.
2. Email or call both senators by Friday. We’ve provided information on the webpage to help you craft an email or message to your liking.
3. Let us know once you’ve contacted your senators by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll update the map to show which states have been covered. We want the entire nation blanketed by Friday, May 31!
4. Tell your friends, particularly those at your state’s major newspapers and TV stations, to do the same.
5. Send out messages on social media, such as Twitter and Facebook.
6. Write editorials and stories about the federal shield law. We’ve included contact information for quotable experts. Educate the public!
7. Check back into the SPJ shield law page and follow it for the latest news on the pending bills. We will likely need everyone’s help again if the bills come up for a vote.
It’s crucial that we let our senators know how we feel. This isn’t about the press’ right to know – this is about protecting sources so important information comes to light for the good of society. If you believe in democracy and journalism, then act now!