Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Bloggers, Shield Laws, and the Journalism Guild.

The Hut’s FR. Charles Nalls wants to start a thread on shield laws, and notes this Accuracy in Media article. However, I think that he’s missing the point. It seems that most of the advocacy for these prospective laws are more focused on creating a protected class of journalists, rather than protection of free speech. They certainly don’t seem to be focused on protecting your right to blog on your own dime from recriminations from your employer or co-workers.

At the end of the day, this is likely to boil down to de facto, if not de jure, licensing of journalists.

Is Instapundit a covered site? Glenn Reynolds a covered person? He regularly publishes articles in Tech Central Station and other places (if the “publication” is online only, will it count?), but Instapundit rarely breaks news, unless you count the numerous emails Glenn posts. Is there “news” in the aggregation and editorial service he provides? When things like this are deliberately left vauge so the courts will decide, that's a recipe for abuse of power.

This is all about good, old fashioned, barriers to market entry like mommy used to make.