Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Quick Update on Shield Law bill

Rep. Blake Oshiro, vice chair of the Judiciary Committee, offered a House Draft 1 after hearing testimony on the bill, HB2557. The HD1 included new language that addressed the question of what to do about bloggers and others who are not professional journalists, what Rep. Oshiro called a "catch-all". Those who are not professional journalists, but who meet the standard provided by the Ethics Code of the Society of Professional Journalists, would be protected under the proposed shield law. The other significant addition is that the shield would not apply when the news source agrees to waive the protection. The bill passed out of committee. It is a single referral, so it does go to a vote on the floor by the full House, but the bill does not have any more hearings in other House committees.

The Judiciary and the Prosecutor's office opposed the bill. The Attorney General appreciated the intent, but had concerns. The Honolulu Community Media Council, the SPJ Hawaii Chapter, the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Musicians supported the bill. Six individuals submitted testimony in support or to provide comments.


Doug said...


I'm still trying to get the website to cough up the testimony on that bill...

lavagal said...

If I recall correctly, isn't U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie against any kind of shield law, that it's not necessary? I cannot remember his reasoning about it, but it's very lawyerish. Or so I allege, haha.