Shield laws are beneficial and necessary for reporters in today's society. With the harsh attack dog media serving the public, informants need some type of protection for their identity. This is especially true today with the large importance of public perspective and marketability. If an informant leaked valuable information that greatly altered the public's perspective on an individual or institution, then there would be individuals feeling some hostility towards the informant. Without shield laws many would be informants would be intimidated to release valuable and critical information.
If shield laws were in place than new stories such as Watergate, the Monica Lewinski scandal, and the White House surveillance issues would be non-existent. Furthur more, important insider information such as crime leads and sporting analysis may even be faltered.
Some critics claim that shield laws favor the media because it grants them special privileges because they are not forced to release information.
However, others also receive special privileges. If Ted Kennedy can drive a girl into a lake, let her drown, and not serve a day in jail then a newspaper writer can refuse to tell someone where he got his/her information from.
In conclusion, Shield laws not only protect past information but also help to draw in new ones. Without them the newspaper would be full of articles discussing the writer's opinion and known factual information. Insider information and tips would be inexistent.