The founding fathers gave us freedom of press in the first amendment for one very important reason. They understood that the pen was and still is mightier than the sword. The pen can influence many at once and the man back in the 18th century cranking out handbills or printing pamphlets about the excesses and abuses of the British government was more important initially than the men with the guns. Today we have the same issues at hand; the blogger or small news site complaining about the excesses and open corruption in our government today is the man defending liberty, protecting the rights the founders gave us.
It doesn’t matter that these people don’t have degrees, may not be paid by a news organization, or a television company, they are journalists. They do research, they write, revise, and finally publish, just like I do here. but I guess the government needs to have just a little bit more control over the press. First of all, since when is a little bit more control by the government a good thing…never, not even once has it led to something more profitable, more productive, or safer. Instead it leads to an ever confusing, larger tangle of bureaucracy. But I guess the Senate gets to decide whatever the hell it wants because election is the last step they have to take in the service of their constituents.
The Senate is going to decide how to selectively enforce the first Amendment in regards to journalism. They claim that this is a protective measure for the journalism shield laws, when in all actuality it is another power grab by the government. The bill would protect reporters and news media organizations from being required to reveal the identities of confidential sources, but it does not grant an absolute privilege for journalists. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., complained that the definition of a journalist was too broad. Pushing back, Feinstein said the intent was to set up a test to determine a bona fide journalist. “I think journalism has a certain trade craft. It’s a profession. I recognize that everyone can think they’re a journalist,” Feinstein said. (by the way, she is as dumb as she is ugly and don’t let her rhetoric fool you)
Really Senator, since when has reporting facts and exposing governmental corruption and abuses of power been the sole responsibility of people who have paid and gone to school for a degree in journalism. You know the term yellow journalism and gonzo journalism wasn’t a label given to “non-journalists.” The first school of journalism wasn’t opened until 1908 at the University of Missouri. I suppose from the 1760’s until then the colonists cum citizens only relied on the government for official news and commentary. There was no one reporting anything before then, how could they, they were all untrained individuals. If you’re not trained and you’re not employed, you’re not a journalist? Bull.
Make no mistake, this is not something to protect the integrity of journalism and reporting. This is a power grab plain and simple. This is the first attempt to limit the power of the freedom of the press, to remove protections from some and grant it to the few. The Amendment says nothing about the freedom of the journalist. The Constitution was for all Americans great and small and freedom of the Press was for all of them. Now that a few will have it, under the protection of governmental regulations they can start with the little rules, niggling at the back of journalism until it becomes a tool of the state. It isn’t a long road from here to the loss of freedoms.