Arkansas Updates 1937 Media Shield Law

New avenues of publication have led to the updating of the 1937 Arkansas shield law that protects the right of reporters and publishers to protect their sources.

The 1937 law, Section 1 of Arkansas Code P 16-85-510 originally defined the media as: newspaper, periodical, or radio station. The new language acknowledges the internet:

Before any editor, reporter, or other writer for any newspaper, periodical, or radio station, television station, or Internet news source, or publisher of any newspaper, or periodical, or Internet news source, or manager or owner of any radio station shall be required to disclose to any grand jury or to any other authority the source of information used as the basis for any article he or she may have written, published, or broadcast, it must be shown that the article was written, published, or broadcast in bad faith, with malice, and not in the interest of the public welfare.

Maeve Maddox writes about popular culture, English usage, and education. Her most recent books are WORD RAGE, a guide to peaceful coexistence as American English-speakers, and THE FABERGE FLUTE, a cozy mystery set in 1980s London.

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