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Is a Blogger a Journalist?

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posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 06:16 PM
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Is a Blogger a Journalist?


www.pcmag.com

The case of Crystal Cox, a self-professed "investigative blogger" from Oregon, should outrage the public. The woman was investigating targeted companies that she believed to be acting unethically and found herself at the wrong end of a lawsuit.
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
www.bankruptcycorruption.com




posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 06:16 PM
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What really sticks in my craw about this case is the attempt by the judge to define "journalists" as he sees fit, limiting the roles of individuals not part of the corporate news media from reporting on items of interest to the public and denying them the same rights and legal protections that "journalists" (as HE defines them) enjoy.


He said, “Although the defendant is a self-proclaimed ‘investigative blogger’ and defines herself as ‘media,’ the record fails to show that she is affiliated with any newspaper, magazine, periodical, book, pamphlet, news service, wire service, news or feature syndicate, broadcast station or network, or cable television system. Thus, she is not entitled to the protections of the law in the first instance.”


www.pcmag.com
(visit the link for the full news article)
edit on 10-12-2011 by BomSquad because: Added a quote



posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 06:19 PM
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She would've been sued and lost even if she were a journalist. That has nothing to do with the issue. Libel is that regardless of the status of the publisher. Free speach doesn't mean you can make up lies and then try to blackmail companies to "clean their image".



posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 06:24 PM
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edit on 10-12-2011 by JackTheTripper because: double post



posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 06:24 PM
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Journalist is a person who keeps journalabout things (s)he sees or thinks and possibly wants to publish it.

Hence blogger is journalist. QED

edit on 10-12-2011 by JackTheTripper because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 06:29 PM
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What the Crystal Cox case means for digital media


The way we frame this discussion is important. When anyone can publish, I'm often asked, who's a journalist, anyway? That's the wrong question, I believe. The vastly more relevant issue is this: what is journalism?

That – and not the matter of whom we call a journalist – is what legislators and courts should be examining. Because, while most people will never be (or call themselves) journalists, any of us can commit acts of journalism. The Oregon blogger's kind of journalism certainly isn't my style, but her goal is plainly to inform the public about an issue she believes to be of public interest. Is that journalism? I'd argue it is, even though I certainly don't argue that she or any other journalist is entitled to libel anyone else. (In a related take on this topic, GigaOm's Mathew Ingram says we are all becoming journalists – and that laws need to reflect that. We agree on the basics if not the terminology.)


Just some additional information related to this discussion...



posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 06:30 PM
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The judge, recent Obama appointee Marco Hernandez, asserted that as a blogger with no other credentials, she was not a journalist and was entitled to no protection.


This judge is not only in error, he acted criminally. The First Amendment is quite clear in its prohibitive nature, and certainly does not make any distinctions about credentialism. Credentials are essentially a license to do something, and a license as legally defined is the grant of permission to something that would otherwise be illegal.

If Christina Cox expects to get this problem fixed she is going to have to file a verified complaint against the judge and have him arrested for the denial, disparagement and flat out violation of her absolute and unalienable right to publish.

The question is not whether Cox has any credentials to publish what she has, the only question is whether or not what she has published is true and not libelous.

There are some who will argue that judges have full immunity from prosecution, but this full immunity can only apply when a judge is operating within the bounds of their jurisdiction. By ruling that Cox lacked the proper credentials, that judge stepped outside of his scope of jurisdiction and ruled as a private person acting on his own private beliefs. That judge has no immunity from prosecution, but Ms. Cox can be rest assured that if she fails to file a verified complaint swearing under penalty of perjury that this judge injured her, the state or federal government will not do a thing to act upon this blatant crime. If Cox does file that verified complaint, the government must act on that and must put this judge on trial.



posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 06:34 PM
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Originally posted by PsykoOps
She would've been sued and lost even if she were a journalist. That has nothing to do with the issue. Libel is that regardless of the status of the publisher. Free speach doesn't mean you can make up lies and then try to blackmail companies to "clean their image".


I agree completely. I am not trying to argue the merits of her particular case. My concern is specifically with the judge's specific definition of a "journalist".

My personal belief is that if you are reporting what you believe to be facts in the interest of informing the public about issues you believe are relevant to said public then by at least my personal definition, you are a journalist.

I do not agree with this particular bloggers tactics or her methods of reporting, but I do think that she met the definition of journalist. Of course that does not give her the right to libel or defame someone....



posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 06:45 PM
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reply to post by BomSquad
 


There are quite a few bloggers who do have journalism degrees, but a blogger is not necessarily a journalist. There are journalists who are bloggers, but the two are not the same. I do not think a blogger is a journalist, but if a blogger follows journalist ethics, then one might consider them to be. The blogger does not get paid, a journalist does.

ATS is full of bloggers who think they are journalists.



posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 06:49 PM
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So really to be a journalist you have to be getting paid.. Sounds about right in this world.
I think the judge destroyed his own argument here:

book, pamphlet, news service, wire service, news or feature syndicate, broadcast station or network
A good lawyer could easily argue that a blog constitues as a book, news syndicate and broadcast network.. It really just comes down to definition and a blog is no different to a mainstream media website.
The good part about our legal system is that people who have millions to spend on lawyers can always find a loophole to lock any inconveinces up.



posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 06:50 PM
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reply to post by WarminIndy
 


Bloggers who generate advertising revenue are getting paid, and there are bloggers who have subscriptions as a source of revenue too, and are getting paid in the very same way any other journalist gets paid by advertising and subscription revenue.



posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 07:12 PM
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well wiki defines a journalist as :


A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.

A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media (newspapers and magazines), electronic media (television, radio, documentary film), and digital media (such as online journalism)

Depending on the context, the term journalist may include various types of editors, editorial writers, columnists, and visual journalists, such as photojournalists (journalists who use the medium of photography).

Journalism has developed a variety of ethics and standards. While objectivity and a lack of bias are often considered important, some types of journalism, such as advocacy journalism, intentionally adopt a non-objective viewpoint.


So i guess just about anyone who posts to the "Breaking Alternative News" forum could be a journalist as well as many bloggers.


edit on 10-12-2011 by PhoenixOD because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 07:39 PM
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Originally posted by ThrowCatsAtCacti
So really to be a journalist you have to be getting paid.. Sounds about right in this world.
I think the judge destroyed his own argument here:

book, pamphlet, news service, wire service, news or feature syndicate, broadcast station or network
A good lawyer could easily argue that a blog constitues as a book, news syndicate and broadcast network.. It really just comes down to definition and a blog is no different to a mainstream media website.
The good part about our legal system is that people who have millions to spend on lawyers can always find a loophole to lock any inconveinces up.


Not true in the least. Many people volunteer and work free of charge. Doctors have done this, teachers, counselors, non profits do it all the time.

Money has nothing to do with this.



posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 07:39 PM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


I agree that judges who overstep the boundaries should be charged criminally.



posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 07:45 PM
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reply to post by BomSquad
 


She has free speech protections [and responsibilities] as an individual like everyone else. If you consider her a journalist, then everyone in the country can be considered a journalist. I think the judge was correct in his interpretation.



posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 07:45 PM
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Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
reply to post by WarminIndy
 


Bloggers who generate advertising revenue are getting paid, and there are bloggers who have subscriptions as a source of revenue too, and are getting paid in the very same way any other journalist gets paid by advertising and subscription revenue.





I'm losing out somehow. I have not gotten paid at all yet..
But I don't think of myself as a journalist, because journalists are supposed to disseminate information without bias, but blogging is about opinion.



posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 07:56 PM
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reply to post by WarminIndy
 





I'm losing out somehow. I have not gotten paid at all yet.. But I don't think of myself as a journalist, because journalists are supposed to disseminate information without bias, but blogging is about opinion.


Actually, the notion that journalists are "supposed to disseminate information without bias" is a relatively new idea among credentialed journalists. The term "yellow journalism" did not come about because the journalists of William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer's day were paragons of unbiased journalism.

An unbiased approach is just one way to report the news, but Constitutionally speaking there is certainly no distinction within the First Amendment that demands a "journalist" omit bias from their reporting.

Further, virtually every newspaper in the nation has an OP/ED page, and the Los Angeles Times not only has an OP/ED page but has a front page feature called "Column One" which is what "journalists" call "news analysis" which is clever way of saying biased journalism.



posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 08:40 PM
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The reason she's getting sued is right here:


Why Investigative Blogger Crystal L. Cox Says Kevin Padrick, Obsidian Finance LLC is a Liar.

There are Many Reasons Why I Claim that Kevin Padrick, Obsidian Finance LLC is a Thug, Thief and a Liar.. Many More Will Continue to Post.. in Detail .. as Oregon Attorney David Aman of Tonkon Torp LLP Law Firm sent me a Cease and Desist Requesting that I Stop saying such Facts about his Client Oregon Attorney Kevin Padrick for Obsidian Finance Portland Oregon.


Unless she has a court conviction or signed admission from "Kevin Padrick", then she just committed Libel/Defamation. She could have quoted someone who held that opinion on Mr. Padrick, that would have prevented her from committing libel, although the person making the remark could be sued for slander.

Tabloids are always getting sued for stuff they write about people. Doesn't make a bit of difference if they call themselves a 'journalist' or not.

I'm not saying what she wrote was wrong, for all we know Mr. Padrick is indeed a "Thug, Thief and a Liar", but the way she went about it was wrong, she committed the amateur mistake of Libel.



posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 11:18 PM
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I have to agree with the author's opinion about what a journalist is. There is no clear cut description. I suppose it would be any individual who disseminates information whether through print, broadcast, or electronic means? Furthermore, there are no clear cut codes of ethics a journalist needs to follow either. They choose to follow a certain code as to how they report. I am sorry, but this judge is overstepping their bounds. He does not have the authority to muzzle or censor anyone, and that is precisely what he is doing by making this designation. The person this blogger has publicly mentioned in her blog is an employee of a public company and she is not commenting about his actions as a private citizen but as an employee. Therefore, the burden of proof in a libel or slander case is on her subject and their company.

Now, if she was intentionally defaming a private citizen I recall the protections for libel or slander is somewhat different than for a public figure or a company. I found the court documents regarding the case in question, and in them is ample precedence which should have had this case thrown out.

Crystal Cox Opinion

District Judge, Marco Hernandez, even cites previous court precedence about matters like this, but completely rules the opposite? With this ruling, it could have a chilling affect on people who engage in grassroots journalism like Ms. Cox and others who report on things for the public interest. She is protected by the First Amendment and has ample precedence in her favor, but this judge chose to overlook all of that and essentially legislate from the bench. Over interpretation of the law is just as bad as having no law at all. My guess is this will go before the state appellate court. If it is unfavorable for the defendant? It may very well find itself before the Supreme Court. This is just my opinion on the matter.
edit on 11-12-2011 by Jakes51 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 12:35 AM
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This, really, depends upon the quality of work.

In all honesty, I've seen higher-quality journalism out of some "blogs" than I have out of 'reputable' news sources.

The main difference is that of spin. A number of the better blogs regarding issues read more like a report you would hand in to an instructor for credit in a class. The issues are defined, sources are given, and the author takes up the role of analyzing the points and counter-points before giving their own opinion and interpretation of the available research.

They lack media buzz-words designed to trawl for attention (literally - have you seen headlines these days?)

That's not to say there aren't blogs out there that are just unfounded babblings of mad-men (and women... lest I instigate more hateful babbling). It's just that the better ones tend to be infinitely better than news sources.

Compared to targeted review/subject magazines and websites, however, the story can be a little different. The best blogs rate about equal to the best online review or magazine review articles available. Magazines tend to break down issues further, and tend to use fewer buzzwords (if you're reading a website that reviews computer components, you probably don't need the same attention-grabbing scheme to try and get you to care about electronics in the first place).

From a legal standpoint, though... the issue is touchy. Honestly, the internet is considered a form of print. Protections (and liabilities) regarding printed works and their authors logically extend to the internet. If I printed off my own magazine from home and distributed it around town - it's little different from a blog (spare for the fact a blog is much more practical, as it costs sufficiently less), or any internet publication, for that matter.

That said - anyone can be held liable for libel or slander - which represents not just grossly negligent journalism, but downright fraud in many cases.

Which is something the blogosphere is going to have to learn as it makes its way into the social norms.



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