Saturday, April 23, 2005

Are Bloggers Journalists?

My answer to this question is, who cares. The text of the first amendment reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

I guess the writer of the article is trying to differentiate between speech and press. He seems to be making a mistake in equating reporters with the press when clearly, he even talks about it, the writers of the amendment simply meant printing presses. It's just weird because while trying to force people like Instapundit into the reporter role, something Instapundit has denied on multiple occasions, he sort of defends them in this role. The simple fact of the matter is the two applicable clauses that allow bloggers the protection of the first amendment have nothing to do with whether or not we're journalists: Congress shall make now law... abridging the freedom of speech. No where does it say "for journalists or those that can be shoe horned into this category." Again, the writer agrees that bloggers deserve first amendment protection, but he does it for really weird reasons. Further, it kind of implies that other people, that are not "journalists/bloggers" may not actually have the same protections. It's just odd.

1 comment:

Nylarthotep said...

I suppose it all begs a simple question, is an Op-Ed in a newspaper or on a political show considered journalism and are they protected by the freedom of the press? If it is, then I think all forms of blogging are protected.

Editorials are not reporting. Editorials provide the editors/owners opinions on a topic and not just the simple "facts" of an event/occurence.

The best of Bloggers provide much better and thought provoking articles than I've seen in most MSM press. They also easily link to original source material and demand that the reader educate themselves on the topic in order to have an opinion. Because of that demand of understanding, I see bloggers as being far more like a journalist than an editor.

Either way, I agree that this is more a direct protection of the freedom of speech than it is freedom of the press.