The First Amendment applies to everyone, not just journalists

Matthew Ingram /giagom.comSUMMARY: An appeals court has struck a blow for free speech and freedom of the press by ruling that First Amendment protection should be available to bloggers, regardless of whether they fit the definition of who qualifies as a journalist.

When Montana blogger Crystal Cox lost her defamation case in 2011, the decision was greeted by a chorus of cheers from journalists, who were quick to argue that Cox wasn’t a journalist in any real sense of the word, and therefore didn’t deserve any protection from the First Amendment. An appeals court for the Ninth Circuit has disagreed, however: on Friday, a panel of judges overturned the original decision and said that Cox was in fact entitled to protection.

The implications of this ruling go beyond just a single defamation case. It’s another link in a chain of decisions that are gradually helping to extend the principle of free-speech protection beyond professional journalism to anyone who is publishinginformation with public value — and as such, it helps shift the focus away from trying to define who is a journalist and puts it where it should be: on protecting the practice of journalism, broadly defined.

Read More … 


Warning: call_user_func_array() [function.call-user-func-array]: First argument is expected to be a valid callback, 'echo_tweets_js' was given in /home/content/25/5535425/html/justice/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 406