Maloney Supports “Press Shield” Bill

Oct 16, 2007
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) submitted the following statement in support of the “Free Flow of Information Act” (H.R. 2102) into the official congressional record.  H.R. 2102 overwhelmingly passed the House today by a vote of 389 to 21.

“Madame Speaker,

“I rise today in strong support of the Free Flow of Information Act, H.R. 2102, legislation that would prevent journalists from being forced to reveal their confidential sources in legal proceedings. 

“This important bill has strong bipartisan support and the endorsement of countless news organizations and the Newspaper Association of America.

“The ‘press shield’ is critical to the functioning of our democracy.  Compelling reporters to testify and reveal the identity of confidential sources hinders the free flow of information.  Many people with important information about government wrongdoing would rather stay quiet than reveal their identities.  Sometimes the only way a reporter can gain access to a source’s information, and bring it to the public’s attention, is by guaranteeing that source confidentiality. 

“H.R. 2012 strikes a common sense balance between the public’s need for information and fair justice.  It would compel reporters to reveal the identity of a source if the court finds it necessary to prevent ‘imminent and actual harm to national security’ or ‘imminent death or significant bodily harm.’ 

“The First Amendment states that, “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”  The Founding Fathers clearly envisioned a free press that would enable the electorate to make informed decisions and hold the government in check.  That’s precisely what this bill would do.

“I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 2012 and protect the free press that our Founders envisioned.”