I don't need to tell you that reporters need more legal protection than they're currently getting from the federal courts. Any doubts were removed last week when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the appeals of Matthew Cooper of Time and Judith Miller of The New York Times.
That's why the Society's board has voted to raise at least $30,000 under auspices of the Legal Defense Fund to pay for a stepped-up effort to lobby Congress to enact a federal shield law.
All indications are that prospects are better than they have been in years for passage of such legislation.
But ahead lie more meetings with members of Congress, testimony at hearings and work by our legal counsel, in conjunction with those of allied journalism groups to craft the language of legislation.
You can help with a contribution to the Legal Defense fund.
Your chapter can help by holding a fund-raising event and forwarding those proceeds to LDF.
SPJ does great things to improve and protect journalism. But we do most of those things through the dilligent efforts of members like you.
Please do your part now to insure fewer journalists face prison for doing their jobs.
Maine Public Broadcasting
President, Society of Professional Journalists