South Dakota lawmakers will debate protections for journalists who refuse to disclose information or sources after Gov. Kristi Noem called for a reporter shield law in her State of the State address.
Noem says it’s important that investigative journalists can work without fear of having to reveal their sources or getting pulled in front of a court to testify.
The bill introduced Thursday would block courts, the Legislature and other public bodies in South Dakota from holding in contempt journalists who assert the privilege. It would also make information obtained in violation of the law inadmissible in such proceedings.
Rep. Jon Hansen, the sponsor, credited Noem for elevating the issue. Hansen says he supports the First Amendment rights of the press and that reporters shouldn’t be prosecuted for doing their jobs.