Congressional shield-law debate risks consigning student journalists to second-class legal status

There is exuberance -- cautious exuberance, to be sure, among those who've been to the threshold too many times -- that, as a byproduct of the Obama administration's shameful mistreatment of journalists, Congress will soon enact a reporter's privilege that protects journalists against demands to disclose their confidences.Largely lost in that exuberance is the vast distinction between competing versions of the "Free Flow of Information Act of 2013" in the House and Senate -- a distinction that could literally mean the difference between prison and freedom for student journalists.The reporter's privilege (or "reporter shield") enables a journalist to refuse to give testimony or surrender unpublished information in connection with a police investigation or legal proceeding.