Bill would require South Carolina journalists to register

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina journalists would have to register with the government before reporting the state’s news, under a Republican lawmaker’s proposal.

The bill introduced Tuesday in the state House would establish a “responsible journalism registry” with requirements journalists must meet before working for a news outlet in the state. Those requirements weren’t laid out in the bill’s summary, which was available online Tuesday. The measure’s full text has not yet been posted.

The registry, which would be operated by the Secretary of State’s Office, would have fees. The bill also would authorize “fines and criminal penalties” for violating the law.

Bill sponsor Rep. Mike Pitts, R-Laurens, didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment. South Carolina Press Association executive director Bill Rogers said he would fight the bill, which he says is unconstitutional.

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Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP . Read more of her work at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/meg-kinnard

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