Saturday, May 31, 2014

Are Bloggers Journalists?

That really is a good question given the special protections offered journalists. In his latest column entitled Press Credentials Fred Reed takes aim at a recent and incredibly stupid decision by United States District Judge Marco A. Hernandez. In this decision Hernandez lists seven criteria he thinks define a journalist deserving of protection under the First Amendment and the shield laws:

  1. Education in journalism
  2. Credentials or proof of any affiliation with any recognized news entity
  3. Proof of adherence to journalistic standards such as editing, fact-checking, or disclosures of conflicts of interest
  4. Keeping notes of conversations and interviews conducted
  5. Mutual understanding or agreement of confidentiality between the defendant and his/her sources
  6. Creation of an independent product rather than assembling writings and postings of others
  7. Contacting "the other side" to get both sides of a story.

Reed -- having actually been a journalist for decades -- neatly dissects the unbelievable ignorance Hernandez demonstrates in the above. In a blast of pure vitriolic brilliance, Fred offers as a response to Hernandez, "Vete a la chingada, cabrón. No me estés jodiendo", which he translates as, "I appreciate your point of view. I will consider it at leisure[sic]."

I am still laughing at that one.

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