Wyoming Legislature could discuss new protections for the press this winter

In the entire U.S., only one state — Wyoming — lacks legal protections for journalists who refuse to give up the names of confidential sources when law enforcement comes calling.


After years as an outlier — and at least one close call for a reporter who faced legal pressure to reveal his sources — Wyoming could potentially see those protections enacted in the 2020 legislative session.


At a meeting of the Legislature’s Joint Judiciary Committee last week, the Wyoming Association of Broadcasters revealed that they would be pushing this session for a shield law — a piece of legislation designed to protect reporters’ privileges. Shield laws are designed to protect the identity of confidential sources and whistleblowers who help to shake controversial topics loose as well as reporters who may face consequences in civil or criminal court for withholding the names of the people who provided the information.