Tuesday, October 11

Bloggers Probably Not Considered Journalists

Something I need to keep up with, and we should all consider the implications. This alarming article comes via RedState.org diary.
By: FrauBudgie
According to Senator Richard Lugar, bloggers would probably not be protected under the new shield law.

In a speech reported by Editor and Publisher, Luger said that the debate isn't closed yet as to how to define a journalist.

Lugar's the sponsor of a bill called the "Free Flow of Information Act" which is designed to protect journalists from going to jail for not revealing lying anonymous sources ...

Here's the gig about anonymous sources: if an official isn't willing to give his name, then chances are, the information being given to the reporter is manipulative. Reporters need to take that into account, although these days, they don't seem to.

If you know you might have to go to jail to protect a source, there's a little more gravity in the transaction -- or at least, there should be.

In the blogosphere, it's almost a given that you might indeed have an anonymous source for an explosive story, but somebody else is going to immediately publish an article that questions the motives of the anonymity ... or figures out who it is.

However, jail time is not without merit for a mainstream reporter.

Consider Judith Miller, recently imprisoned for not revealing a source (even though her source told her months ago that it was okay to reveal him. Go figure that one.)

Miller probably used her down time in jail to write the first three chapters, and an outline of her forthcoming book, which has been reportedly sold to Simon and Shuster for 1.2 million dollars.

Considering that she spent 85 days in jail, that works out roughly to be $14,117.65 per day spent in jail. That's not counting the speaking engagements to various journalism schools she'll get ... and job security in an otherwise fairly ersatz profession.