Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: shield law


Time to pass a federal shield law

Let’s be clear on the subject of keeping sources confidential: Journalists don’t like doing it, and their editors absolutely hate it.

In fact, everyone connected with news reporting would prefer to always attribute information to the people who provide it. Stories are stronger when sources agree to attach their names to allegations.

But the reality is that sometimes sources face retaliation – anything from getting fired to getting killed – if their names become known. Sometimes protecting sources’ identities is the only way important information can come to light. And that’s why journalists have been willing to go to jail – to protect their sources and the principle of confidentiality.
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Lawmaker to press: You got yours, how about ours?

While I’m on my open-government rant (see previous post), I’ll also chime in about yesterday’s meeting of the state Sunshine Committee. The committee finally got around to taking up chairman Tom Carr’s proposal to abolish “legislative privilege” that allows state lawmakers to withhold e-mails, letters and memos written on public equipment and by public employees.

The committee agreed with Carr 8-1. The lone dissenter: Sen. Adam Kline.

A public official not wanting to give up secrecy is nothing new (although I would point out that state Rep. Lynn Kessler is in exactly the same position and voted for

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