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California Democrat proposes bill to protect journalists against violence

A California congressman citing recent violent attacks on journalists introduced a bill to protect working journalists. The Journalism Protection Act makes it a federal crime to cause “bodily harm” to journalists. The bill has 12 co-sponsors, all Democrats, but the congressman says he is trying to get Republicans to support the bill. (CNN, February 11, 2018, by Jackie Wattles)

Media professor Jonathan Peters, Columbia Journalism Review, February 9, 2018, praises the bill for its “symbolic and practical value” but says it’s more important to pass a federal shield law to protect journalists from being forced to cough up the identities of their sources and their notes.

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