S02353 Summary:

BILL NO    S02353 

SAME AS    SAME AS A00727

SPONSOR    HOYLMAN

COSPNSR    

MLTSPNSR   

Amd S79-h, Civ Rts L

Expands the exemption provided to professional journalists and newscasters from
contempt to include employment or association with a web log; defines web log
as a website or webpage that contains an online journal containing news,
comments and offers hyperlinks provided by the writer.
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S02353 Actions:

BILL NO    S02353 

01/16/2013 REFERRED TO CODES
01/08/2014 REFERRED TO CODES
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S02353 Text:

                           S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
       ________________________________________________________________________

                                         2353

                              2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                                   I N  S E N A T E

                                   January 16, 2013
                                      ___________

       Introduced  by  Sen. HOYLMAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
         printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes

       AN ACT to amend the civil rights law, in relation to exemptions provided
         to professional journalists and newscasters from contempt

         THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
       BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

    1    Section 1. Paragraph 6 of subdivision (a) of section 79-h of the civil
    2  rights law, as amended by chapter 468 of the laws of 1981, is amended to
    3  read as follows:
    4    (6)  "Professional journalist" shall mean one who, for gain or liveli-
    5  hood, is engaged in gathering, preparing, collecting, writing,  editing,
    6  filming, taping or photographing of news intended for a newspaper, maga-
    7  zine,  news  agency,  press association [or], wire service or WEB LOG OR
    8  other professional medium or agency which has  as  one  of  its  regular
    9  functions  the  processing  and researching of news intended for dissem-
   10  ination to the public; such person  shall  be  someone  performing  said
   11  function either as a regular employee or as one otherwise professionally
   12  affiliated for gain or livelihood with such medium of communication.
   13    S  2.  Subdivision  (a)  of  section  79-h  of the civil rights law is
   14  amended by adding a new paragraph 9 to read as follows:
   15    (9) "WEB LOG" SHALL MEAN A WEBSITE OR WEBPAGE THAT CONTAINS AN  ONLINE
   16  JOURNAL  CONTAINING NEWS, COMMENTS AND OFFERS HYPERLINKS PROVIDED BY THE
   17  PROFESSIONAL JOURNALIST OR NEWSCASTER.
   18    S 3. Subdivision (b) of section 79-h  of  the  civil  rights  law,  as
   19  amended  by  chapter  33  of  the  laws  of  1990, is amended to read as
   20  follows:
   21    (b)  Exemption  of  professional  journalists  and  newscasters   from
   22  contempt: Absolute protection for confidential news. Notwithstanding the
   23  provisions  of  any  general or specific law to the contrary, no profes-
   24  sional journalist or newscaster  presently  or  having  previously  been
   25  employed  or  otherwise  associated  with  any newspaper, magazine, news

        EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                             [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                  LBD02023-01-3
       S. 2353                             2

    1  agency, press association, wire service, WEB LOG,  radio  or  television
    2  transmission station or network or other professional medium of communi-
    3  cating  news  or information to the public shall be adjudged in contempt
    4  by  any court in connection with any civil or criminal proceeding, or by
    5  the legislature or other body having contempt powers, nor shall a  grand
    6  jury  seek  to  have  a journalist or newscaster held in contempt by any
    7  court, legislature or other body having contempt powers for refusing  or
    8  failing  to  disclose any news obtained or received in confidence or the
    9  identity of the source of  any  such  news  coming  into  such  person's
   10  possession  in the course of gathering or obtaining news for publication
   11  or to be published in a newspaper, magazine, WEB LOG or for broadcast by
   12  a radio or television transmission station  or  network  or  for  public
   13  dissemination  by  any  other professional medium or agency which has as
   14  one of its main functions the dissemination of news to  the  public,  by
   15  which  such person is professionally employed or otherwise associated in
   16  a news gathering capacity notwithstanding that the material or  identity
   17  of  a  source  of such material or related material gathered by a person
   18  described above performing a function described above is or is not high-
   19  ly relevant to a particular inquiry of  government  and  notwithstanding
   20  that  the  information was not solicited by the journalist or newscaster
   21  prior to disclosure to such person.
   22    S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.
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