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Georgia lawmaker pitches state Journalism Ethics Board
Andrew Welch.JPG
Rep. Andrew Welch leads the charge on filing legislation this week to create a state Journalism Ethics Board to develop “canons of ethics” for journalists in Georgia. (Alyssa Pointer/AP)

ATLANTA (AP) — A Republican state lawmaker has filed legislation that would create a state ethics board for journalists in Georgia.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the measure introduced Tuesday was sponsored by Rep. Andy Welch, a lawyer who expressed frustration with questions put to him recently by a TV reporter.

The legislation would authorize a board to create "canons of ethics," develop a voluntary accreditation system, set up an investigating mechanism and sanction violations by accredited members.

The bill was introduced on the final day of the 2019 session, so it won't be available for lawmakers to consider until they return in January.

Richard T. Griffiths is president of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation. Griffiths noted that the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment prohibitions against making laws that abridge freedom of the press also apply to Georgia's lawmakers.

Welch represents house district 110, which covers a portion of Newton County.


Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,