Are Bloggers Also Journalists? Could We Be Charged $2.5 Million?

Another blogger brought to my attention a recent case where a blogger was charged $2.5 Million dollars for reporting on an injustice without being a journalist. Her blog, Bankruptcy Corruption was created to expose bankruptcy fraud and, as she focused on a big business filing for Chapter 11 and wrote about a specific person quite often, she was eventually taken to court. The judge has decided that as a blogger, she is NOT a journalist and, therefore, is not afforded the same rights and protection. Under Oregon's media shield law, one must be employed by a media establishment to be considered a journalist!!

Now, I take this personally as a blogger. I may not be "employed" by another firm or company, but do consider my own blog a business. I know many bloggers who make a good living off of their blogs, they file taxes and are quite serious about their jobs. Also, what happened to free speech? Are we not allowed to express our own opinions? Could this happen to us?

What's your opinion on this subject? It's quite scary to me and it will make me think again before writing negative remarks about a business or person (not that I usually do)! I don't like being made to feel like I must censor myself, especially on my blog, where I should be able to freely write my own thoughts and opinions. I'd love to hear what everyone else has to say about this!



Danielle @ Happenings of the Harper Household said...

I think it's completely bull s#@!. Seriously, like you said - what happened to freedom of speech?? I thought we lived in the United States? Such utter crap!

Jenni said...

That *is* scary! And you know, not to get all political on your blog BUT - this is just another example of how incredibly insane our collective priorities are becoming. :/

Danielle @ "We Have It All" said...

This just makes no sense to me - I do not consider myself a "journalist", I call myself a freelance writer, but still. I am allowed my own opinion and why can't I state my own opinion on my site?!? What happened to free speech?!? This is insane!! So what does this mean? Do we need to insure ourselves?

fancygrlnancy said...

I thought that blogging would be considered freelance work. That is horrible! So scary.

Kelsie Harris said...

This is very scary! I have mentioned in a few posts on my blog a few things that well known companies have done that are morally questionable, but isn't that my right as a citizen of a free country? I see blogging as a job sort of. I mean, I do put a lot of work into improving it, promoting it, networking with other bloggers and companies, and researching and writing of course. It just seems wrong to me that a blogger can be sued for expressing opinions and sharing information.

Post a Comment