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Business

Congress limps toward concluding that bloggers can be journalists

Anne Broache has excellent coverage of a House panel's vote today to extend reporters' privileges to bloggers who gain some sort of financial benefit.
Written by Denise Howell, Inactive

Anne Broache has excellent coverage of a House panel's vote today to extend reporters' privileges to bloggers who gain some sort of financial benefit. My personal take is Congress should leave the money factor out of it and stick with the definition Anne reports:

The bill defines the practice of journalism as "gathering, preparing, collecting, photographing, recording, writing, editing, reporting or publishing of news or information that concerns local, national or international events or other matters of public interest for dissemination to the public."

Anne quotes various Republican representatives complaining that all one need do is add nominal advertising to a blog to become a financially motivated blogger. Well, exactly. The financial component is an artificial and ineffective band-aid designed to assuage opponents' concerns that reporters shields should not apply to "nonprofessionals." But acts of journalism should be acts of journalism, with all the First Amendment privileges associated therewith; money is just the tail wagging the dog. Why should this be so difficult to recognize and legislate?

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