Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Are Bloggers Journalists?

A writer and editor for a political Web site in Hawaii is embroiled in a lawsuit involving reportage about the failure of a dam, which led to seven deaths. The prosecuting attorney has asked that the reporter, Malia Zimmerman, divulge her sources. Hawaii has no journalist shield law.

What might be more interesting, however, is that one of the issues the judge needs to determine is whether the writer is a "real journalist." The publishers of the Web site don't consider it a blog, and the writer in question worked as a consultant for ABC's program "20/20."

"It seems to me that if a blogger is a journalist, everyone can produce a blog and never be subject to a subpoena," McCorriston said. "Are all bloggers journalists? It's a question that's never been answered anywhere."

Are all bloggers journalists? No. Are all journalists bloggers? No. Are some bloggers journalists -- and vice versa? Of course. It'll be interesting to see how this shapes up.

No comments: