Reporters rely on the ability to assure confidentiality to sources in order to deliver news to the public, and the ability of news reporters to assure confidentiality to sources is fundamental to their ability to deliver news on highly contentious matters of broad public interest. Without the promise of confidentiality, many sources would not provide information to reporters, and the public would suffer from the resulting lack of information.

That it is why I have joined with my colleague on the House Judiciary Committee Congressman Mike Pence (R-Ind.) in offering the Free Flow of Information Act, legislation that would set criteria that must be met to compel the disclosure of sources and information from reporters, in any federal criminal or civil matter, to ensure that the ability of reporters to guarantee confidentiality to their sources is not threatened.

Our legislation appropriately places the public's right to know above the more narrow interest of the administration of justice in a particular federal case. In fact, in many instances, the critical information that first alerts federal prosecutors to conduct a criminal proceeding is contained in a news story that could only have been reported upon with the assurance of anonymity to the news source. Passage of this measure will assure a stronger underpinning of both freedom of the press and free speech in future years.