It must be Texas day, with two posts relating to the Lone Star State.
The Texas Senate approved the "Free Flow of Information Act" on May 1 in a 27-4 vote and sent the bill to the Texas House of Representatives. The bill would give "journalists" a qualified privilege to protect both their sources and their newsgathering materials. Under the current language of the bill, a journalists is defined as follows:
"Journalist" means a person who for financial gain, for a substantial portion of the person's livelihood, or for subscription purposes gathers, compiles, prepares, collects, photographs, records, writes, edits, reports, investigates, processes, or publishes news or information that is disseminated by a news medium or communication service provider and includes:
(A) a person who supervises or assists in gathering, preparing, and disseminating the news or information;
(B) a person who is or has been a journalist, scholar, or researcher employed by an institution of higher education; or
(C) a person who is on a professional track to earn a significant portion of the person's livelihood by obtaining or preparing information for dissemination by a news medium or an
agent, assistant, employee, or supervisor of that person.
It is unclear whether the Texas bill covers citizen journalists. Although citizen journalists typically "supervise or assist in gathering, preparing, and disseminating the news or information," they do not all engage in such activity "for financial gain, for a substantial portion of the person's livelihood, or for subscription purposes," as the first part of the definition of "journalist" appears to require.
Current status of the bill can be found on Texas Legislature Online.