Friday, March 27, 2009

Congress Disses Bloggers?

Congress is considering laws that would protect journalists and their sources...but, now that blogging has proven far more than a passing fancy, the question of 'who qualifies as a journalist' must come into play:

"...The House version, on the other hand, puts limits on who is covered in a way that potentially leaves most bloggers and many others outside the protective zone of the shield. From the bill:

The term "covered person" means a person who regularly gathers, prepares, collects, photographs, records, writes, edits, reports, or publishes news or information that concerns local, national, or international events or other matters of public interest for dissemination to the public for a substantial portion of the person's livelihood or for substantial financial gain and includes a supervisor, employer, parent, subsidiary, or affiliate of such covered person.

"Substantial" isn't defined, but one would assume that many bloggers, student journalists and even those who freelance for magazines or papers that pay poorly, could have a hard time utilizing the protections afforded by the bill, should this version become law..." (source)

I don't consider myself a journalist...more like a journalists' Cliff Notes or an OpEd writer, but there are more and more Bloggers that are publishing original content. There are also Bloggers that are earning their "livelihoods" with the revinue from their Blog. The Representatives in the House need to realize it's only going to get harder to legally differentiate between an Blogger and a journalist...

...And further more, doesn't it show a greater commitment to "news or information" that some of us have done this for 5+ years for free?!

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