PRESS Act would create a more informed public

Seth Stern

Director of Advocacy

Sen. Mike Lee

Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0

We joined Utah First Amendment lawyer Michael Judd in commending Sen. Mike Lee for supporting the PRESS Act and encouraging other legislators to do the same.

Our op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune explained:

“The PRESS Act is the strongest journalists’ ‘shield’ bill ever introduced. It restricts the government from spying on journalists or forcing them to burn sources, except in serious emergencies. It protects not only mainstream media but alternative publications and freelancers, with no regard for politics, because the First Amendment isn’t only for establishment-approved viewpoints.


News sources do not risk their careers when they fear the government will force reporters to out them. That means journalists can’t expose malfeasance, the public misses important news and voters arrive at the ballot box less informed. As Lee said, ‘in a world where information is power, the role of reporters as truth-seekers and watchdogs cannot be understated.’”

The PRESS Act unanimously passed the House Judiciary Committee with broad bipartisan support last month. The Senate bill is sponsored by Democrats Ron Wyden and Dick Durbin, along with Lee, a Republican. Other Republicans from Lindsey Graham to Jim Jordan have previously joined Democrats including Chuck Schumer in supporting journalist’s shield bills.

You can tell your representatives to support the PRESS Act here.

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