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Measure protecting journalistic sources heads toward final approval

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 7:32 p.m. HST, Apr 21, 2011

An extension of a Hawaii law protecting journalists from having to reveal sources or unpublished information in court is heading toward final approval.

The conference committee of House and Senate negotiators agreed Wednesday on language of the bill extending the journalist shield law for two years, until July 2013.

The measure now heads toward final votes in each chamber.

The shield law would have expired at the end of June if lawmakers hadn’t taken action.

Media lawyer Jeff Portnoy has said 36 states and the District of Columbia have permanent shield laws. But he says Hawaii’s law is stronger than others because it also protects online bloggers.

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