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Colorado Bill, Inspired By Jana Winter Trial, Seeks Protections For Reporters

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JANA WINTER JOURNALIST
CENTENNIAL, CO - APRIL 01: Foxnews.com reporter Jana Winter returns to the court house after a midday recess to face Arapahoe County District Judge William Sylvester regarding evidence in the case of Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes at the Arapahoe County Justice Center on April 1, 2013 in Centennial, Colorado. Winter is facing contempt charges for not revelaing her sources that broke a gag order in the case. It was announced that District Attorney George Brauchler will seek the dea | Getty Images

DENVER (AP) — Journalists in Colorado may get legal help protecting their sources after a New York reporter was pressured to divulge sources of information in the 2012 theater shootings.

A bill introduced this week would elevate the legal standard on which a reporter can be compelled to reveal sources. It would also delete a current provision in Colorado law that says information being sought in the case can outweigh First Amendment interests.

Republican Sen. Bernie Herpin introduced the bill because of Jana Winter, a Fox News reporter. Lawyers for theater shooting suspect James Holmes wanted Winter to name sources who told her Holmes mailed a notebook depicting violence to a psychiatrist.

A New York court ruled Winter did not have to reveal her sources. Herpin's bill is modeled after New York's law.