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#Iam1A: Power of the Citizen Press

Power of the Citizen Press
Here at Watchdog Wire, we believe in the power of the citizen press! Unlike Dianne Feinstein, Chuck Schumer, or Lindsey Graham we know that anyone can be a journalist, and everyone deserves journalistic protection – it’s called the First Amendment!

TAKE ACTION: Join us in showing lawmakers that journalism is an action, not a profession.

  1. SHARE YOUR STORY:  Tell us why Citizen Journalism is important to you using the #Iam1A web form below!

  2. Are you on Twitter?  Click to tweet and help spread the word using our hash tag #Iam1A.

  3. Submit an op ed or letter to the editor to your local newspaper about this topic. Need help writing it? Contact us at Info@WatchdogWire.com and we’ll get you started.

  4. Contact a local radio host in your area and tell them that our First Amendment rights are under attack and he or she should be talking about it on the air.

Who qualifies as a Citizen Journalist?

Citizen Journalist may sound like a fancy title, but it doesn’t just refer to prominent bloggers like Michelle Malkin, Andrew Breitbart, or Matt Drudge.   It’s far more all-encompassing than that!

“Citizen Journalist” is a name for people like you and me, who are active in their communities and share their observations – whether that be on Facebook, Twitter, a blog, or even with their next door neighbor.  Anyone with a cell phone or flip camera can be a Citizen Journalist, and should therefore have protected speech under the First Amendment.

Citizen Journalists are under attack!

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee led by Dianne Feinstein and Dick Durbin Chuck have attached an amendment to Senate Bill 987, originally submitted by Senators Chuck Schumer and Lindsay Graham, which would give the Department of Justice power to determine who qualifies for protection as a journalist under the First Amendment.

What does this mean?  Well, currently, bloggers (like professional journalists) cannot be forced to reveal their sources or turn over evidence and notes used in their investigations.  If passed, this amendment would allow the federal government to decide who is and is not a “journalist” and entitled to “journalistic” protections.

Citizens are protected under the First Amendment too:

Professional journalists don’t enjoy any “special” rights!  They are protected by the same 1st Amendment rights as all American citizens!  The First Amendment to the Constitution states that:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Do First Amendment rights only belong to a protected class?  Should Congress be able to decide who qualifies for 1st Amendment rights?  We certainly don’t think so.

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