Sotto Law: The Press Freedom Law

Last week, I had watched ‘Nothing But The Truth’. That’s a film about a reporter named Rachel Armstrong who was arrested because she refused to reveal her source on a controversial article that she wrote. I was surprised to know that there is such a law that protects the journalist and his source. At first, I thought that, that law is exclusive for the United State and after making a research, I was also surprised to find out that our country has it’s own version too which we call ‘Sotto Law’.

The “Sotto Law”(The Press Freedom Law) , or Republic Act No. 53, protects the publisher, editor, columnist or duly accredited reporter of any newspaper, magazine or periodical of general circulation. It also protects the journalist from being compelled to name his news source. The law is aimed precisely to protect press freedom and keep irate politicians from intimidating journalists and their sources if they do not like what they read... (Source:¬†http://en.wikipilipinas.org/index.php/Sotto_Law)

Former Senator Vicente Sotto is the man behind this law and the well known ‘Press Freedom Law’. But the law has it’s exemption, journalists are only allowed to withhold their source only if they think that the source’s life might be put at risk or danger if they reveal their identity. Thus, if the news concerns the national security, you are not allowed to hide your source. This law may have its advantages and disadvantages. At first, I was like “Really? Is this some kind of joke?” but after watching ‘nothing but the truth’ I finally understand the value and the essence of the law. I may say that I agree with it.

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