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Blunt Among Senators Proposing New Reporter Shield Law

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(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)
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U.S. Senator Roy Blunt

A bipartisan group of senators is pressing forward with a reporter shield bill that includes new Justice Department guidelines for investigations that involve the media.

The guidelines announced Friday would make it harder for prosecutors to obtain journalists’ phone records without advance notice. Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri says the new bill will make it much more difficult for political appointees to stop reporters from doing their job.

"Essentially it says that the punishment is not for the reporter who is asking questions but for the individual who provides information that they have somehow become obligated not to provide," Blunt told reporters Wednesday.

The proposed legislation would also ensure reporters have the ability to protect the identity of anonymous sources, with limited exceptions.

The sponsors hope to have the legislation to a Senate committee as early as this week.

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