Sen. Patrick Leahy is applauding a new federal media shield law making its way through Congress.
Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee, which Leahy chairs, approved the law, which could provide new security for journalists who want to protect confidential sources within the government.
Earlier this year, news leaked that the Justice Department had secretly tracked the newsgathering activities of journalists at The Associated Press and Fox News.
"The press ought to have the ability to report what we're doing as a country. And that means reporting when mistakes are made. I don't care if it's a Democratic or a Republican administration," said Leahy, D-Vermont.
The measure defines a journalist as someone working for an entity that disseminates news or information. It also includes student journalists. A federal court could also declare a person a "covered journalist".
This is the third time media shield legislation has been approved by the committee since 2007.
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