By: Dorothy Giobbe
BERNARD NUSSBAUM ISN’T the only one calling for reporters and editors to disclose details of their financial activities ? and he isn’t the first.
In the spirit of similar attempts that stretch back to the beginning of the century, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) last year (E&P, Aug. 12, p. 9) proposed what he termed a “truth in reporting requirement.”
Under Byrd’s proposal, for which hearings may take place this year, all reporters who are credentialed in the Senate press gallery would be forced to annually disclose all outside sources of income.
The intent, according to the senator, “is simply to apply a level of credibility to the press that reflects the importance of their profession.”
Jane Kirtley, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, believes the Byrd proposal is a thinly veiled attempt to censor the press.
“This kind of sanctimonious moralizing to justify censorship is classic coming from countries whose [press] conditions we deplore,” Kirtley said last August. “It is unconscionable for someone of Senator Byrd’s standing to pretend this proposal does not pose a significant threat to press freedom in the United States.”