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MARCH 4, 2014

NR # 3395B

Bill expanding coverage of Journalists right to refuse to reveal sources of information hurdles committee
The House Committee on Public Information has endorsed plenary passage of the proposed bill expanding the coverage on journalists right to refuse to reveal the source of a news report obtained in confidence. The House panel chaired by !ep. "orge T. #lmonte $% st &istrict 'isamis (ccidental) earlier approved Committee !eport *+ on H, -./ $in consolidation with H, 0os. %./1 and %1.-) authored principally by !eps. !aul 2. del 'ar $% st &istrict Cebu City) !ufus !odrigue3 $/nd &istrict Cagayan de (ro City) and 'aximo !odrigue3 $#bante 'indanao) and Harlin #bayon $%st &istrict 0orthern 4amar). H, -./ is entitled5 6#n #ct amending !.#. 0o. *- as amended otherwise 7nown as 8#n #ct to exempt the Publisher 9ditor or !eporter of any Publication from revealing the source of published news or information obtained in confidence by including within its coverage journalists from broadcast news agencies and internet publications.: !epublic #ct 0o. *- or 6The 4otto ;aw: has been the journalists privilege statute which ensures he can refuse to reveal the source of a confidential news report or information except when the court or a Committee of Congress finds that the revelation is demanded by the security of the 4tate. 6The reason for the rule is that the identity of sources of a confidential news information must be protected otherwise the spring of data for news or commentary dries up and the mission of the press to chec7 and balance and expose wrongdoing is impeded : del 'ar stressed. <ith the dawn of modern technology H, -./ expands the coverage to broadcast journalists news agencies and internet publications which are otherwise not covered by the 4otto ;aw. 6Protection extends to the publisher station manager and=or manager bureau chief editor news editor writer or reporter correspondents opinion columnists or commentators cartoonists photographers or any practitioner involved in the gathering writing editing of and commenting on the news : the authors clarified. (ddly however the current privilege applies only to the publisher editor columnist or duly accredited reporter of any newspaper maga3ine or periodical of general circulation. The law is silent about journalists from broadcast stations news or wire agencies and internet newspapers maga3ines and other publications : they further explained. 6It is an omission that must be filled an anomaly that must be corrected The journalists envisioned by the 4otto ;aw cannot be confined to print practitioners : the Committee !eport stressed. $-+) dpt