Bill Giving Reporters Extra Libel Protection Heads to Abbott

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A measure further shielding journalists from libel lawsuits if they accurately report a whistleblower's allegations -- even if they turn out to be false -- is going to the governor.

The Texas House approved Friday a bill that had already cleared the Senate, sending it to Gov. Greg Abbott to be signed into law.

The protection at first appeared stalled, but rallied after weeks of negotiations between organizations that represent trial lawyers and reporters.

All sides eventually agreed that accuracy in reporting is a defense to libel.

Advocates say the practice has been common in Texas for years. But the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas said the need for the protection arose from a 2014 Supreme Court of Texas ruling that left state libel law nebulous.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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