A free and independent press is fundamental — it is essential — to American democracy at all levels. But knowing that is precisely why Coloradans must begin a conversation about alternative ways to fund local journalism — even ways that involve public dollars.
Journalists in Colorado would have stronger, but not absolute, protections against being compelled to reveal confidential sources and unreported information under an amendment to a reporter’s shield measure proposed by the bill’s sponsor.
State Sen. Bernie Herpin quoted 18th-century English judge William Blackstone in explaining his reasons for introducing a bill to strengthen the Colorado law that protects a journalist’s confidential sources.
Motivated by the ordeal of a Fox News reporter, who could have been jailed for refusing to reveal sources for a story on the Aurora movie theater gunman, Sen. Bernie Herpin says he wants to model Colorado’s press shield law after New York’s law.
A Gazette investigation into a secret spy program at the Air Force Academy was one of three recent news stories that had nothing in common, except the vitally important fact that none could have been reported in such detail, or perhaps even reported at all, without the state and federal laws that ensure your rights of access to public information.