I got this in the mail today.
I saw this today on the internet: http://www.slate.com/id/2115883/#ContinueArticle
It's kinda long and I didn't read the entire thing, but I thought I'd pass it along in case you had Some sort of an opinion or comment.
Oh yea i have an opinion, though most of this is just what everyone else has said.
A little background
The traditional media (newspapers and TV news organizations) are scared they are going to lose their jobs because people will stop reading or watching their stuff. This is not true. They might stop buying newspapers or watching regular TV with commercials, but they will always consume the news in some way, though it might be less amounts than they used to.
The traditional media is still has a large amount of power, because the bloggers rely on other news sources to gather and spread the news around. While powerful, the traditional media has lost a large amount of informational power. Instead of a few dueling voices, you know have thousands of different ideas floating around on one issue. The traditional media also is fact checked by hundreds of thousands of people who then post their thoughts about it on the web. This has lead some in the traditional media to take a defensive stance, because they feel that they are being attacked. They are still in charge of the news cycle, they just do not have the last word or the most words, and that infuriates some members of the traditional media.
The ones who do not adapt will die.
"Do bloggers deserve basic journalistic protections?"
This attempt is partly grasping at the one of the last things that separates the journalist from the blogger and partly pointing out how much better the traditional media is than bloggers. I personally do not think bloggers deserve basic journalistic protections any more than journalists deserve journalists protections. In other words, the only time journalists use their protections is when they screwed up some how and they are trying to save their butts. Of course that is what happened with the bloggers, also.
"Given the explosive growth of the blogosphere, some judge is bound to rule on the question one day soon, and when he does, I hope he says the nation's estimated 8 million bloggers are not entitled to the same constitutional protection as traditional journalists essentially newspaper, magazine, radio and television reporters and editors
This statement will surely bring me an avalanche of angry e-mail from bloggers and their acolytes, cyber citizens convinced that I'm just a self-serving apologist for the soon-to-be-obsolete media that pay my salary. "
Probably not, i will just mock you from my own website.
"I feel particularly strongly about this now, at a time when the Bush administration is hounding reporters in several cases to divulge their confidential sources or face prison for contempt. "
A case of journalists wanting to save their own butts.
"Shield laws (and the 1st Amendment guarantee of freedom of the press, the philosophical progenitor of these laws) were created to enable the media as an institution to inform the citizenry, without government interference."
I love how the writer uses the fact that journalist have laws protecting them from government interference, when that same government interferes constantly. First by making laws, and secondly by forcing to the give equal air time to politicians, as the Slate article points out.
"Reporters in 31 states, including California, as well as Washington, D.C., are protected by shield laws. Most of those laws and California's in particular provide more protection than does the 1st Amendment itself. "
I think it is interesting how this person thinks that by breaking the first amendment, the laws provide more protection than the first amendment.
Reporters in 31 states, including California, as well as Washington, D.C., are protected by shield laws. Most of those laws and California's in particular provide more protection than does the 1st Amendment itself. That's why the Bush administration is pursuing its cases in federal court, where state shield laws don't apply. That's also why many journalists and several congressmen are actively seeking a federal shield law.
I strongly favor such a law, and in this climate we have to be careful about when and under what circumstances we apply and assert the journalist's privilege. If the courts allow every Tom, Dick and Matt who wants to call himself a journalist to invoke the privilege to protect confidential sources, the public will become even less trusting than it already is of all journalists.
That would ultimately damage society as much as it would the media. [emphasis mine]"
This guy really thinks that journalist are that important to society and that losing them would be a bad thing.
I think he should test his theory.
update: More blogger warfare.
update: via say uncle