"Appeals Court Upholds Ruling That Blog Commenter Was Not A Journalist
from the too-bad dept
While lots of attention was paid to the claims that the confiscation of Gizmodo reporter Jason Chen's computer's would "settle" whether bloggers are considered journalists, the details in that case suggest otherwise. However, a much more important case on that particular question was decided late last week. It's the case of Shellee Hale, which we've covered in the past. Basically, Hale posted some information claiming a security breach at another company.
She revealed this information as a comment on another site -- and when she was sued, the company demanded she reveal where she got that information from.
She claimed that her sources were protected, as she was a journalist.
The court ruled against her, saying that because she had "no connection to any legitimate news publication," her own investigations weren't journalism.
That's troubling for a variety of reasons, especially given the wide latitude in determining what constitutes a "legitimate news publication." Hale appealed, and unfortunately, the ruling last week from the appeals court upheld the lower court's ruling:
"Simply put, new media should not be confused with news media," wrote Superior Court Appellate Judge Anthony J. Parrillo.
The court also claimed that her activities were not journalism because they "exhibited none of the recognized qualities or characteristics traditionally associated with the news process, nor has she demonstrated an established connection or affiliation with any news entity."
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