Bloggers with Shields: Reconciling the Blogosphere's Intrinsic Editorial Process with Traditional Concepts of Media Accountability

Wischnowski, Benjamin J.
November 2011
Iowa Law Review;Nov2011, Vol. 97 Issue 1, p327
Academic Journal
As a growing volume of investigative reporting emerges from the blogosphere, many bloggers are currently assuming the role of "watchdogs" of both traditional media and nonmedia institutions. To perform this role effectively, bloggers frequently argue that they, as "journalists, " need protection under state shield laws-statutes that prevent the compelled disclosure of confidential sources. Courts have yet to reach a consensus on the proper standard for distinguishing among bloggers for purposes of shield-law protection. This Note questions the prudence of standards that condition protection on how closely bloggers imitate the very institutions whose authority they are challenging and argues for an altogether separate test for bloggers that acknowledges the blogosphere's unique editorial process.


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