Should Bloggers Be Afforded The Same Rights Granted To Journalists?

from the lawsuits-galore... dept

Paul Alan Levy writes "Together with the ACLU of Virginia and the Thomas Jefferson Center for Freedom of Expression, we have intervened in a case pending in Buckingham County, Virginia in which a plaintiff in a defamation case retaliated against a blogger who covered his defamation suit in less than flattering terms by sending a highly invasive subpoena that demands production of the blogger's communications with his sources, IP numbers of all who posted on his web site or even READ the web site. There have been only a handful of cases in which courts have addressed whether bloggers should be treated as journalists for the purpose of considering the reporters' privilege. We are also arguing that, in addition to protecting the commenters on the blog for the reasons usually argued -- protecting their right of anonymous speech -- posters on a journalist's blog should be treated as "sources" whose disclosure violates the journalist's own rights."

We've been seeing a lot of these types of cases lately. It would be good to get some more definitive rulings that establish both the rights of those who blog, as well as those who comment anonymously.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: bloggers, journalists, lawsuits, sources


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    rpcutts, 11 Mar 2009 @ 4:09am

    I don't see how anyone can have an opinion until someone comes up with a concrete definition of what makes a journalist a journalist.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord

Introducing the new Techdirt Insider Chat, now hosted on Discord. If you are an Insider with a membership that includes the chat feature and have not yet been invited to join us on Discord, please reach out here.

Loading...
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.