Thursday, April 13, 2006

Are Bloggers Journalists?

Last week I attended training in Utah State's open meeting and open records laws, at which I found out that as a keeper of records, and a blogger, I am my own security risk. Apparently, there are some major discussions going on in the courts about whether or not bloggers have the same rights (and with those rights, responsibilities) as journalists. And as such, where should the legal lines be drawn with the rights of bloggers to publish, to protect their sources, and the responsibility that they have to the public as a "voice of the people."

This article by Chris Daly discusses the issue with a bit of historical background, which you may or may not find interesting.

In America, where we don't license journalists, that is not always a simple question. Lately, the issue has come up in a new light because of the claims made by people who post Web logs. Bloggers came to prominence during the 2004 election, often criticizing or correcting the "mainstream media." Recently, the first blogger in history was issued credentials to cover the White House. And just last month, a California judge was asked to decide whether bloggers who write about Apple computers can enjoy the legal protections of that state's "shield laws."

Not surprisingly, most bloggers insist that they are journalists, entitled to equal rights with older media. Others disagree, saying bloggers are not journalists by any stretch. Recently, for example, Los Angeles Times media critic David Shaw argued that bloggers should not be considered journalists because they have no experience, they have no editors, and they have no standards. (Copyright ©2005 Christopher B. Daly)

Just some food for thought.


Th. said...


I used to follow this issue bery closely. Then I quit journalism and haven't worried much about it since. I hope I don't get sued for what I said about Lindsay Lohan.....

Absent-minded Secretary said...

I just really thought it was funny the one guy said that bloggers have "no editors, no experience, and no standards."