Washington’s proposed law would provide a more limited privilege on materials such as unpublished notes and tapes. Under its provisions, the media could be forced to disclose that information under certain circumstances, including when a judge finds it is necessary in a criminal or civil case and the material cannot be obtained elsewhere.The bill would have to mesh with the version still stuck in the Senate, and then merit Governor Gregoire's signature, before passing. Not a sure thing, but closer than ever:
The measure overwhelmingly passed the House last year on a bipartisan 87-11 vote only to get stopped in the Senate, where it was never brought up for a floor vote. It had a public hearing in the Senate last month, was passed out of committee last week, and supporters there were more confident of its chances this year.The law would apply only to professional journalists.
The bill defines a member of the media as anyone who earns a substantial portion of his or her income from publishing or broadcasting. Generally, authors of occasional opinion pieces or Internet bloggers would not be covered.Someday, blogging friends. Someday.