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!