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Slim chance of a Mass. shield law this year

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  1. Protecting Sources and Materials
The outlook is grim for a proposed shield law in Massachusetts, with two days left in the Legislative session and…

The outlook is grim for a proposed shield law in Massachusetts, with two days left in the Legislative session and no sign it’s headed for a vote, The [Quincy] Patriot Ledger reports.

While several lawmakers told the paper the Massachusetts Free Flow of Information Act could make an 11th hour move out of the judiciary committee before the session adjourns Thursday, other watchers of the bill have given up.

"Everyone in the media in Massachusetts  is saddened to see this effort fall short," Charles Kravetz, president of New England Cable News, was quoted as saying in The Patriot Ledger.  

Rep. Garrett Bradley, a sponsor of the bill, told the paper it fell victim to "quiet opponents" who feared its effects on law enforcement and didn’t "want to be outwardly opposed to an issue (the media) likes."

The state’s shield law would provide reporters with qualified protection against having to out their confidential sources or hand over their notes to further government investigations. Reporter’s shield laws exist in 36 states and the District of Columbia.