Friday, April 22, 2011


INCOMING: It's that's time of year when all the hard work at the legislature pays off like a Vegas slot with three lemons.

But as the members of the firing squad within the conference committee system load their Uzis for next week's inevitable blood bath somehow some bills manage to hide under the sanguine slaughtered and make it to a vote in both chambers.

Of course those measure are usually half of what could have been done with some kind of red tape thrown in just to make sure nothing in done in perpetuity.

And so it goes with this year's reporters' shield legislation which, instead of making it permanent. "extends the limited news media privilege against the compelled disclosure of sources and unpublished information to 6/30/2013." for some idiotic judiciary study that was already done the first time the law passed with a 2011 sunset date.

The Hawai`i law also covers bloggers making a nasty battle over who is a journalist moot for those of us who do reporting along with commentary and analysis.

But it's real import has been in getting people to talk and being able to offer them the added protection of a law that protects us.

For decades we've given assurances to certain sources that we would never reveal their identities, especially when their safety or job security are involved. But that meant convincing them that we would go to jail to protect their identities.

After a few notable cases across the mainland in the last decade where a handful of reporters either cracked or put pressure on their sources to reveal themselves it made people think twice and forced us to abandon some investigative pieces for lack of corroborating or even primary information, despite the fact that we could sit in Kapa`a and smell a story from Kekaha.

With the shield law we have been able to tell those who would expose corruption and wrong doing that our freedom is no longer an issue.

The problem is that it only applies tothe state court system since there is no federal shield law which would have to make its way through congress where it has stalled year after year.

If you have a story to tell us give us a call (we're listed) or drop us an email (gotwindmills(at) and join us in giving thanks for another two years of peace of mind for whistleblowers around the state.

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