Vermont's senior U.S. senator says it's good news that legislation to create a federal media shield law has cleared a key hurdle.
Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy said Thursday's approval by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he chairs, could provide new security for journalists trying to protect their confidential sources.
Leahy notes that his parents ran a printing business and says he's been a long-time supporter of First Amendment rights.
The bill would establish protections for journalists who use confidential sources to find out what various government agencies are doing.
The action comes months after it was revealed the Justice Department had secretly tracked the news gathering activities of 21 reporters and editors at The Associated Press and a journalist at Fox News.
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