Saturday, March 5

Bloggers: Not 1st Amendment Press

This is not good.

"A California judge said in a preliminary ruling that bloggers should not have the same protection afforded to journalists under US law.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), representing the sites, said it was disappointed with the ruling.

The case's outcome could be far-reaching for bloggers and writers.

The EFF argued that those writing for blogs, websites which increasingly act as "unofficial" news sources, should get the same First Amendment and California Shield Law protection as journalists.

It is designed to protect journalists from being forced to reveal the names of sources or supply unpublished materials, if the matter reported is in the public's interest. "

From an original understand of the Constitution this is a misguided ruling. The press that the Founder understood in their day is in many ways very similar to the blogs today. De Tocquville in his observations of the US noted how easy it was to set up a newspaper and how many there were. There were thousand of papers written and published with partisan leanings and varying audiences. And just like blogs these papers were not refined and often on spoke what was on their author's mind even if it was less than tactfully.

Sure it might again destroy the systematic establishment of the press as an institution, but I can't see this as a bad thing. The press should be anyone who people care to listen to.