Md. House sends student shield bill to Senate

MARYLAND — The Maryland House of Delegates passed House Bill 257unanimously Thursday, March 4. The bill, which extends the journalisticprotections of the Maryland shield bill to college journalists, will now go onto the Maryland Senate.

The bill, sponsored by Delegate Sandy Rosenberg, D-Baltimore City, had itssecond reading for amendments on Tuesday, March 2, and passed through the HouseThursday with a 138-0 vote, said Susan Somerville, a legislative aide forRosenberg.

“Now its going to go over to the Senate side and we’ll see ifit gets out of that committee,” Somerville said.

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 last week.

These protections allow reporters to protect their confidential sourcesentirely, and protect any notes or unpublished materials unless disclosure isdeemed legally necessary.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.