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From Politico's FBI raid on Project Veritas founder’s home sparks questions about press freedom

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last month, Garland was asked who qualifies as a journalist under Justice Department policies. “It’s very difficult to make that kind of definition,” he said.

I'd like to find the full response and its context but so far haven't been able to. I've stepped through the 4 hour video at judiciary.senate.gov Oversight of the Department of Justice, Full Committee, October 27, 2021 and looked through justice Garland's written testimony but only found

We also issued a new policy to better protect the freedom and independence of the press. A free press is vital to the functioning of a democratic system under the rule of law. The Justice Department strongly values a free press, and we are committed to protecting the First Amendment and the journalists who rely on it to keep the American people apprised of the workings of their government.

The policy we adopted in July restricts the use of compulsory process to obtain information from, or records of, members of the news media. To further protect members of the news media in a manner that will be enduring, I asked the Deputy Attorney General to undertake a review to further explain, develop, and codify the policy into Department regulations. The Department also remains strongly supportive of congressional legislation to protect members of the news media.

Question: Has the US Department of Justice made an attempt to define what is or isn't journalistic activity? They are developing a new policy but to what activities will it apply?

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  • I think a journalist is a person who works for a legit news organization, he/she is performing the journalistic activity that is sanctioned by his/her parent organization.
    – r13
    Nov 15 '21 at 17:40
  • @r13 there are plenty of independent journalists, especially in modern times. And there are news organizations who's activities can stray outside that of journalism. To be applied fairly, to apply the rule of law evenly, wouldn't one need an objective test rather than rely on I know it when I see it when handing out search warrants and seizure of all electronic devices?
    – uhoh
    Nov 15 '21 at 19:26
  • "organizations who's activities can stray outside that of journalism", the activities should be carried out by the different departments. " independent journalists", are they registered as other professionals? Can I call myself a journalist? If not, why?
    – r13
    Nov 15 '21 at 19:55
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    For context, the core question is whether there should be a privilege for journalists to protect their sources in federal court which is ultimately for the federal courts to decide as common law in the federal courts (many but not all states have such a privilege). The Justice Department policy is an end run around the failure of federal courts to recognize such a privilege.
    – ohwilleke
    Nov 19 '21 at 3:29
  • @ohwilleke thanks for that. While here I'm asking about this DOJ's policy regarding requests for warrants (at least that's what I think I'm asking about) I'm still curious if anybody is working on something beyond "I know it when I see it" to determine to which activities by which individuals those protections would apply.
    – uhoh
    Nov 19 '21 at 3:55

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