A lawmaker is introducing the Whistleblower Protection Act
Assembly Democrat Joe Parisi (D-Madison) wants to protect a reporter's right to keep their sources confidential.
"Reporters need to be able to report on issues that affect the public, be it an issue of malfeasance in government or corporate abuses that may result in issues of safety for the general public. They need to be able to dig down and meet with sources and have their sources know that their conversations will be held in confidence."
Parisi says when a whistleblower has information about something that might be dangerous to a community, it's important for a journalist to protect that person's anonymity, so reporters can continue to help protect and notify the public. Parisi says his bill would also help judges.
"This legislation will also give judges guidelines to follow when they're looking at sources and when a source can remain confidential and in an extreme situation when a source has to be turned over."
Parisi says potential sources might be less likely to speak to reporters if they think their identities will be revealed. He says this measure protects reporters, sources and the public. Parisi says 32 other states have some form of whistleblower legislation. There is also legislation working its way through the federal government. Parisi's proposal is currently being circulated for co-sponsors.