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View Diary: Bloggers and the Federal Shield Law (161 comments)

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  •  If y'all had a better lobby.... (7+ / 0-)

    ...this wouldn't have happened.

    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

    by Jay Elias on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 12:49:10 PM PDT

    •  right? (3+ / 0-)

      pay up, cheapskates!  money equals speech, doncha know.

      WARNING: THIS COMMENT MAY OR MAY NOT CONTAIN SARCASM.

      by the disinfector on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 12:56:06 PM PDT

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    •  It is an interesting question ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MeToo, Jay Elias

      ... as to whether bloggers do need an inside presence for certain fights.  Lord knows, the fight over campaign finance regulation on the Internet required a lot of legwork which I had to figure out on the fly.

      •  I think that if our concerns... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MinistryOfTruth

        ...are important enough to be taken seriously by Congress, they ought to be important enough that there is someone whose job it is to talk to Congress about our concerns.

        The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

        by Jay Elias on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 01:07:05 PM PDT

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      •  As an ex-Prosecutor (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NYFM

        I think the problem if you extent the shield law is where does it stop?  

        Does anyone who comments on a blog qualify as a blogger?  

        The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

        by fladem on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 01:42:31 PM PDT

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        •  I'd rather focus on the definition of journalism (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NYFM

          If someone is reporting news from confidential sources, it probably ought to be protected.  The question comes as to whether it should be someone who, say, "regularly" practices journalism -- Lane Hudson's publication of the Mark Foley IMs was journalism, but it wasn't someone he did regularly at that time.

          •  I think (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NYFM

            that is a VERY hard line to draw.  Not saying that you can't do it, but I think the very existence of the web will outrun any limitation you try to attach.  

            To be honest, I have never liked these laws because I don't like the idea that employment at a newspaper confers rights to you that others don't have. But I certainly can see the case for them.

            But that case gets harder when the bright line begins to dissappear.

            The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

            by fladem on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 02:01:40 PM PDT

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            •  We know what the case is (0+ / 0-)

              Journalism is a public good, and it requires the protection of confidential sources at times -- such that there needs to be a balancing between the needs for which disclosure is sought and the journalist's desire to protect a source.  

              I think a "regularly doing journalism" might be a good start.  Should Lane's sources have been protected?  Suppose the IMs revealed not just scandalous but criminal behavior.

            •  At least one Wisconsin case (0+ / 0-)

              the State shiueld was applied to a blogger cobering a Village Hall scandal.



              Medical Marijuana is Healthcare. does YOUR bill cover it?

              by ben masel on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 04:10:21 PM PDT

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            •  The Daily Kossak? (0+ / 0-)

              Has a Smallvillesque ring to it.

              My understanding is that "traditional" news orgs have requirements that the journalists are AP qualified as an example. The ap fees entitle you to legal back up in case you write something that becomes of interest to legal authorities. There are standards that you must apply to be eligible as well as the requisite fee.

              The other news orgs have the sacred title editors as well even though for the most part site monitors could and in most cases are doing the same job. The editors are the legal filters that verify all the journalists tee's are dotted and ayes are crossed. They also make the decisions wether something goes to presses or is trashed for lack of verifiable substance beyond what is being proposed by the anon. source.

              That is my limited understanding of the differences that may need to be addressed before parity is reached. I only have one year of journalism in school though so if anyone else can add feel free.

    •  LOL! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jay Elias

      for a second I read "If y'all had a better hobby".

      And I thought about how reletively safe knitting is to blogging.

      You are entitled to express your opinion. But you are NOT entitled to agreement.

      by DawnG on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 01:28:43 PM PDT

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