AEJMC Supports Free Flow of Information Act

Oct. 7, 2009 | The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) joins the dozens of news organizations supporting the Free Flow of Information Act (FFIA), a federal shield law that passed the House and is now under debate in the Senate. A key component of the bill is how a journalist will be defined. The current definition, attached to the bill as an amendment, is too restrictive.

The definition of those who gather and disseminate news and information of public interest should not be predicated on an individual’s employment, but instead on an individual’s journalistic practice.

Freelance journalists (who disseminate their work in a variety of ways, including through reputable blogs) and student journalists need the protections extended through the FFIA.

The AEJMC encourages lawmakers to expand the definition of a journalist to be more inclusive so that this important law will be strengthened.

Contacts: Carol Pardun, AEJMC President (803) 777-3244, pardunc@mailbox.sc.edu; Charles N. Davis, AEJMC Law & Policy Division Chair, (573) 882-5736 daviscn@missouri.edu.

This statement was issued by the 2009-10 President of AEJMC, Carol Pardun, University of South Carolina, and through the President’s Advisory Council (Marie Hardin, Pennsylvania State University; Paul Lester, California State University-Fullerton; Julianne Newton, University of Oregon).

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