- Associated Press - Friday, March 17, 2017

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - A bill that would strip the government’s power to force journalists to reveal confidential sources through subpoenas will advance to the Vermont Senate floor.

The measure was passed unanimously in two Senate committees on Friday.

Vermont is among about 10 states that lack laws that provide some legal protection to journalists. The law would place anything that could reveal a reporter’s confidential source out of the reach of the government.

The bill would also set a legal hurdle that the government would have to jump to force journalists to reveal non-confidential information.

Vermont journalists who testified in support of the bill say that without protection from subpoenas, there is a chilling effect on a free press. The threat of subpoenas makes it harder for journalists to promise anonymity.

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