Reader Discussion: Are Bloggers Journalists?

written by BlogEx on October 18, 2007 in Reader Discussion with 12 comments

One of the major stories in blogging this week was the US House of Representatives passing legislation that, according to a CNet article, “would shield journalists–and some bloggers–from being forced to reveal confidential sources in federal cases.” While the actual definition of which bloggers actually receive this protection changed significantly from the version that was proposed, the bill is still a significant development in the short history of blogging. And actually, several of the questions I was asked while participating in the Goodmind study centered around this issue as well. So, in light of this important development, I thought it would be a great topic for this week’s Reader Discussion session.

Do you consider yourself a journalist? Do you think bloggers should be afforded the same rights and protection under the law as journalists receive? If you had to make a distinction, how would you determine which bloggers do or do not qualify as journalists? Congress limited the protection to:

“a person who regularly gathers, prepares, collects, photographs, records, writes, edits, reports, or publishes news or information that concerns local, national, or international events or other matters of public interest for dissemination to the public for a substantial portion of the person’s livelihood or for substantial financial gain and includes a supervisor, employer, parent, subsidiary, or affiliate of such covered person.”

Do you feel that’s a reasonable limitation or is it too restrictive or even too broad?

Please share your opinions in the comments below. One commentator will be selected at random and will win a phrase of their choice free for one month. Make sure it’s a useful comment though, I’m going to be very strict on which comments do and do not qualify for the drawing

EDIT: A couple more details on the drawing. Only phrases that are not currently sold are available. Also, each post will count as it’s own separate entry but don’t draw out into three comments what you could say in one. Oh, and no talking to yourself 😉