The Society of Professional Journalists Thursday called on Congress to pass the federal shield law bill before time runs out on the session.
There are only a handful of days left before legislators exit to try to get reelected.
"Delays in passing S. 448 continue to place U.S. journalists at risk of heavy civil fines and imprisonment. That leads to reluctance to investigate stories and ultimately is a disservice to the American public and an open, democratic society," said SPJ in calling for passage.
After much negotiation with Republicans and the Obama administration, bill backers secured passage of the Free Flow of Information Act in the House and the Senate Judiciary Committee, but it has yet to get a vote in the Senate.
Journalist groups have been trying for decades to get a shield law through Congress, but this latest effort was thought to have been the best chance yet of finally pushing it over the finish line.