February 21, 2014
The Department of Justice has finalized the regulations for its policy toward the news media, including new guidelines for obtaining private information and questioning, arresting or charging journalists.
The new regulations, which were forwarded to POLITICO and will be published on the Federal Register website, resulted from revelations early last year that the DOJ had subpoenaed the phone records of Associated Press reporters and labeled Fox News reporter James Rosen a co-conspirator in separate leak investigations. Attorney General Eric Holder submitted his new guidelines to the president in July.
Among the notable changes: Without notice to the Director of the Office of Public Affairs and the epxress authorization of the Attorney General, Department officials cannot subject a member of the news media to questioning, seek a warrant, or present information to a grand jury for any suspected offense that took place while the journalist was “engaged in the performance of his official duties as a member of the news media.”