Making sense of that journalists-aren’t-bloggers ruling

In my latest for the Huffington Post, I take a look at that bloggers-aren’t-journalists ruling in Oregon. And I argue that the case has nothing to do with the shield law, and everything to do with the dangerous cultural schism between journalists and the rest of society — and a judge who wants to widen it.

4 thoughts on “Making sense of that journalists-aren’t-bloggers ruling

  1. Jim Morrison

    The question “Who is a journalist?” makes a little less sense to me every time I hear it. The better question is: “Is a particular piece, journalism?” Christopher Hitchens is an undeniably great journalist, but not everything he says or writes is Journalism. Will Ryan Seacrest magically become a journalist if he takes over Matt Lauer’s job? Not necessarily.

    That judge is capital W Wrong and I’d like to see him reversed.

    1. Dan Kennedy

      Jim: I agree completely, though I think that reasoning pertains more to shield-law debates than to libel. No one, journalist or not, should be denied the neglience-standard protection of Gertz v. Robert Welch. Nor do I think that’s what the Supreme Court intended, given other decisions, like Branzburg v. Hayes, in which it makes absolutely clear that journalists should enjoy no more rights than anyone else.

  2. Jim Morrison

    Rick, journalists -by definition- always act like journalists, but I digress.

    Dan, any chance you can work that Kennedy magic and convince Santa to bring Massachusetts a shield law? I mean, even Tennessee (the state that gave the world The Scopes Trial) has a shield law.

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