December 3, 2009

Fight Journalist Exceptionalism

This news should trouble every American.

Repeat this until it sinks in: American journalists have 1st Amendment rights because they are Americans, NOT because they are journalists.

That word “press” in the 1st Amendment does not refer to the profession of journalism as we understand it today. The word wasn’t even used that way in 1791. It is a metaphor for printed matter that all Americans have the right to produce and distribute.

We can certainly debate the Constitutionality of shield laws. I’m not taking a stand on that here. If such a law is to be passed, however, it should not give journalists more rights than other citizens.

One Response

  1. I’m right with you on this, Andy.