Thursday, April 28, 2011
Both Arkansas and West Virginia now have new shield laws on the books to protect reporters or expand protection to members of the press who want to shield sources. The Arkansas law (Arkansas Code § 16-85-510), which the governor signed March 30, now covers Internet media.
The West Virginia law, signed April 4 by the acting governor, reads in part:
“Reporter” means a person who regularly gathers, prepares, collects, photographs, records, writes, edits, reports, or publishes news or information that concerns matters of public interest for dissemination to the public for a substantial portion of the person’s livelihood, or a supervisor, or employer of that person in that capacity: Provided, That a student reporter at an accredited educational institution who meets all of the requirements of this definition, except that his or her reporting may not provide a portion of his or her livelihood, meets the definition of reporter for purposes of this section.