NBC Evening News for Tuesday, Feb 20, 1973
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(Studio) Senator Sam Ervin's subcommittee opens hearings on proposed legislature to shield reporters from having to reveal confidential sources.
REPORTER: John Chancellor
(DC) Legis. being considered after Supreme Court ruling that 1st Amendment doesn't protect reporters from having to reveal sources. Congress disagrees over type of shield law to be enacted, but not over need for some type of legislature Senator Walter Mondale feels reporters should have to identify sources only after federal government proves national security need exists. [MONDALE - says in order to get confidential information from reporters courts must be able to show clear evidence of danger from foreign aggression or espionage or threat to life.] [Senator Alan CRANSTON - says feels any qualifying clauses in shield law would be deleterious to public need for news.] Senator Ervin favors limited shield law and this is what is likely to be recommended.
REPORTER: Douglas Kiker
(Studio) White House has proposed local stations be held responsible for output of network programs. Proposal made by Clay Whitehead of Office of Telecommunications. [Senator John PASTORE - asks Whitehead who decides what balanced news presentation is.] [WHITEHEAD - says responsibility would belong to licensee.] [PASTORE - says cannot leave impression that if you don't do as Nixon, Whitehead, Baker, Pastore or anybody else says you will lose license.] [WHITEHEAD - says White House has no say over whether license to be renewed. Federal Communications Commission makes decision independently.]
REPORTER: John Chancellor
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