Md. student shield bill unanimously passes House judiciary committee

MARYLAND — The Maryland House of Delegates judiciary committee unanimouslypassed House Bill 257 today, which extends the state’s journalistic shieldlaws to college student journalists.

The bill, proposed by Delegate Sandy Rosenberg, D-Baltimore City, will nowbe taken to the House floor for its second reading, for proposed amendments, andthen come to a vote for passage. “It’s an important stepforward and I’m gratified that the committee recognized the importance ofextending the shield to college student journalists,” Rosenbergsaid.

The bill proposes that college student journalists who are participatingin news gathering or disseminating in a college-supervised capacity be offeredthe same shield law protections afforded to professional journalists inMaryland, Rosenberg said.

These protections allow reporters to protect their confidential sourcesentirely, and protect any notes or unpublished materials unless disclosure isdeemed legally necessary. The law in Maryland currently protects journalists”employed” by news organizations.