Saturday, January 25, 2014

"Federal appeals court rules bloggers are real reporters under the First Amendment"

"Remember when Juan Williams told Michelle Malkin that he was a "real reporter," not just a "blogger"? Well, one of the most liberal federal courts in the country says that's a distinction without a difference under the First Amendment.

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision Friday recognizing bloggers as journalists under the First Amendment came about in a defamation lawsuit.

"The protections of the First Amendment do not turn on whether the defendant was a trained journalist, formally affiliated with traditional news entities, engaged in conflict-of-interest disclosure, went beyond just assembling others' writings, or tried to get both sides of a story

"Obsidian had filed a lawsuit against Crystal Cox over accusations against the company that she had published on the Internet. Cox countered that the First Amendment protects such speech because the topic was of public interest and the people she wrote about were public figures, but a lower court judge rejected those defenses on the theory that Cox had not proven — nor had provided — "evidence suggestive of her status as a journalist."
," the court ruled in Obsidian Finance Group v. Cox."