Efforts to limit the privilege to "professional" journalists... quickly transform into a sort of guild or licensing system for the press — ironically, something that the First Amendment clearly prohibits.
Complying with subpoenas might make journalists' lives more difficult, but lots of industries are burdened by having to comply with the law.
Journalists usually aren't terribly sympathetic to those industries' complaints. We should be no more sympathetic to reporters' special pleading.
March 10, 2008
The "problem with journalist 'shield' laws is that journalism isn't a profession; it's an activity, one now engaged in by many."
Glenn Reynolds writes (in his Glenn Harlan Reynolds persona):