Connecticut Passes Strong Shield Law

Connecticut Broadcasters Wednesday were celebrating that state legislature's passage of a strong shield law protecting reporters from intrusive government probes.

The bill passed unanimously 36-0 in the state senate and 136 to 11 in the house according to the Connecticut Broadcasters Association. I now goes to Governor Jodi Rell for her signature.

According to the association, the bill "guarantees that no judicial, legislative, executive or other body would have the power to compel the media to reveal the identities of their sources or disclose unpublished or unbroadcast information obtained or received by news media in its capacity in gathering, receiving, or processing information for potential communication to the public."

News outlets are seeking a similar national shield law as the administration ramps up its pursuit of journalists over leaks.

Radio-Television News Directors Association President Barbara Cochran called it a "great development," adding that she hopes it bodes well for Connecticut's neighbors in Massachusetts as well as on the federal level.

Journalists have been working with Massachusetts legislators there to enact a similar law.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.