"When everyone is media, the concept of media is gone."
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  1. #1
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    "When everyone is media, the concept of media is gone."

    Federal judge: Montana blogger is not journalist

    News from The Associated Press


    I've long thought that journalistic shield laws were a bit of an odd duck in our American system... if you boil it down, it means that as long as you've ponied up the cash for a printing press, you're not subject to the same laws as everybody else.

    Certainly, journalism is not the only industry to get special laws, but I can't think of other private businesses / industries that have special levels of Constitutional protections that are not available to the average person.

    Are journalistic shield laws obsolete?
    * not actually a Rock Star

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
    if you boil it down, it means that as long as you've ponied up the cash for a printing press, you're not subject to the same laws as everybody else.

    Certainly, journalism is not the only industry to get special laws, but I can't think of other private businesses / industries that have special levels of Constitutional protections that are not available to the average person.
    Sure you can- all you have to do is manage to incorporate, and you (now) have all kinds of first amendment rights that didn't used to exist


    Back to the original issue.... As an ex-journalist, I can see where non-traditional media might play an important role in providing the rest of ius with information that might not otherwise see the light of day. Traditional outlets that rely on advertising dollars don't have a great track record with regard to biting the hand that feeds them, even when it's newsworthy. I see shield laws as providing a means of getting information from people that would suffer repercussions if they didn't exist.

    Do I think that both traditional and non-traditional journalists act occasionally in ways that deserve scorn? Absolutely. But if you really believe in the concept of a free press, there needs to be some way of keeping it that way.
    We'll be back soon, there will be more of us, and next time we won't be dropping leaflets.

    “The problem with quotes on the internet is that it’s hard to verify their authenticity” – Abraham Lincoln

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by saf-t View Post
    Sure you can- all you have to do is manage to incorporate, and you (now) have all kinds of first amendment rights that didn't used to exist


    Back to the original issue.... As an ex-journalist, I can see where non-traditional media might play an important role in providing the rest of ius with information that might not otherwise see the light of day. Traditional outlets that rely on advertising dollars don't have a great track record with regard to biting the hand that feeds them, even when it's newsworthy. I see shield laws as providing a means of getting information from people that would suffer repercussions if they didn't exist.

    Do I think that both traditional and non-traditional journalists act occasionally in ways that deserve scorn? Absolutely. But if you really believe in the concept of a free press, there needs to be some way of keeping it that way.
    The courts seem to have accepted new media as it has become available. From printing presses to radio to TV to internet news (at least for the outlets associated with old media). How is a independent blogger any different from an internet article posted on MSNBC.
    Mike

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