Wednesday, January 22, 2014

"US District Court: Citizen Journalists Have Same Rights as News Media "

"The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that bloggers have the same 1st Amendment rights as established journalists when involved in a defamation of character suit; as long as the issue is of public concern.

The outcome of this case establishes the fact that protections afforded the news media are not exclusive to their realm, but are also extended to citizen journalists and bloggers.

The decision was entered because of a defamation lawsuit brought in Oregon concerning a blogger who had written online that this person had “criminally mis-handled a bankruptcy case”.

"Most importantly, the judges found that “under the 1st Amendment, it doesn’t matter whether the person accused of defamation is a professional journalist, an amateur whistle-blower or a crank with a Web page.”

"This case is important to the future of citizen journalism because of the crusade against freedom of speech being perpetrated by members of Congress."