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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Pence Says Shield Law to Protect News Bloggers



Mike Pence Pronouncement Differs From Dick Lugar's Recent Remarks

US Representative Mike Pence of Indiana told the Inland Press Association Monday that certain bloggers would be protected under the Free Flow of Information Act that he has co-authored with Senator Dick Lugar of Indiana.

It was reported in
Editor & Publisher that Pence's interpretation of the Act would shield bloggers from being compelled to reveal sources if the blogger was a person engaged in original reporting.
Pence said bloggers would likely have to be considered on a "blog-by-blog" basis.

"Frankly, there are some that are out there gathering news," Spence (sic) said at Inland's 120th annual meeting. "There are many people though, who just link to your newspapers. It would be hard to argue to anyone that privilege applies to those people just because they have a Web site."
Two weeks ago, Lugar stated that his assessment was that bloggers would probably not be considered as protected under the proposed legislation. However, Lugar thoughtfully noted that the discussion over the interpretation of who was protected was an ongoing one as the legislation was being considered.

MORE: View the full webcast of Mike Pence speaking Tuesday on the topic "Should Journalists Have a Federal Shield Law?". He delivered The 2005 Distinguished Journalist Lecture at the Heritage Foundation.

Pence, who has a law degree, represents several townships in Allen County. The communities of Monroeville and Hoagland are in that area.


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