No Reporter Shield for Mere Blogger, N.J. Appeals Court Says
New Jersey's press shield law applies to online news reporters but not to bloggers merely claiming to be journalists, a state appeals court ruled on Thursday.
"Simply put, new media should not be confused with news media," the judges said in Too Much Media v. Hale, A-0964-09, the first N.J. appellate ruling and only the second in any state to address whether bloggers can invoke the newspersons' privilege to protect the identity of their sources.
The blogger's sources were not protected because she "exhibited none of the recognized qualities or characteristics traditionally associated with the news process, nor has she demonstrated an established connection or affiliation with any news entity," the court said.
We here at CC HQ eagerly await similar developments this side of the border, where people who write for the National Post aren't the only ones not considered real journalists.