SC Lawmaker Wants To Create Government Registry of Journalists, Punish Offenders

shutterstock_110484680A South Carolina State Representative introduced a bill Tuesday requiring journalists to sign up for a “responsible journalism registry” and fining those who fail to do so.

The proposed bill would “establish requirements for persons before working as a journalist for a media outlet and for media outlets before hiring a journalist.” It would also direct the South Carolina Secretary of State’s office to create a registry of journalists, charge applicants, and punish those who fail to be “responsible” journalists.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Mike Pitts, shrugged off First Amendment concerns, telling The Charleston Post and Courier that his law is based off of concealed weapon permit laws.

“It strikes me as ironic that the first question is constitutionality from a press that has no problem demonizing firearms,” Pitts said. “…The TV stations, the six o’clock news and the printed press has no qualms demonizing gun owners and gun ownership.”

[Image via screengrab]
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