The world of online journalism fluttered a bit last week when the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia decided that the journalists subpoenaed in a federal investigation of the leaking of the name of a CIA agent in 2004 did not have any privilege to shield confidential sources. In a concurring opinion, Judge David Sentelle mentioned web logs and “bloggers” in his discussion of the problem of defining a journalist. That nod to bloggers, which seemed to equate them with journalists, was only incidental. The real question for Sentelle was, “Who is a journalist?” His logic is correct, but his conclusion is wrong.
Archives: Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
Reporters depend not only on the First Amendment freedom to publish but also the implied First Amendment freedom to gather the news. Issues surrounding how reporters work — and the legal and quasi-legal obstacles they encounter — are covered by an organization called the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Check out this organization’s web site (http://www.rcfp.org) on a regular basis if you want to keep up with the world of reporting.