Tuesday, March 08, 2005


This is just a few of the reports by "journalist" yesterday and today as the blogosphere continues to be defined.

Death of Italian Journalist Sparks Interest in Other Shootings
By The Associated Press Published: March 07, 2005 8:00 PM ET http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000828863 YOU WANNA CHECK THAT HEADLINE AP?
Update: Headline Edited (Death changed to "attack")

White House admits first blogger to news briefing.
On his blog, Graff wrote: "Our first impression this morning? As glamorous as the beat itself may be, there's little glamour to be found in the briefing room. The conditions of the briefing room, famously built over the old White House swimming pool, um, leave something to be desired."
Posted by CNN

Bay judge weighs rights of bloggers
Journalists' shield claimed in response to Apple's lawsuit
Yet for all their gains, bloggers remain a disparate group. Many media experts embrace the notion that bloggers deserve the same First Amendment protections accorded all citizens. But they're not sure bloggers are actually journalists in every instance, entitled to special privileges under shield laws adopted in some states, including California.

"Under the First Amendment of the Constitution, I would be hard-pressed to find any distinction between bloggers and journalists," said Paul Grabowicz, director of the New Media program at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. But, he added, "There are some potentially really bad things that could come without any distinction. Principal among them is, if there is no distinction, things like shield laws that protect journalists go away, because they apply to everybody else."

Joan Walsh, editor of online magazine Salon.com, remembers when traditional journalists wondered if Web sites like Salon and Cnet's News.com produced real journalism. That question has been largely laid to rest, but it is rising anew with bloggers.

"My gut says that they have to be protected," said Walsh. But, she asked, "if you extend these protections to everyone, does it somehow weaken them for the rest of us?"

"There needs to be an editorial screen or filter, an exercise of editorial judgment involved in the decision to publish information," Scheer said. "For example, a site that's effectively a bulletin board, on which anyone can publish or post documents at any time -- and that's all that happens in that site -- may not be entitled to special protection."

Or in Walsh's words, in trying to tell if a blog is serious journalism or the rant of a pajama-clad windbag, "It's kind of like art. You know it when you see it."

E-mail Dan Fost at dfost@sfchronicle.com.

Gotta go get outta my PJ's and get on the workpants. "Journalist" can take a deep breath and relax, (unless I'm laying their new hardwood floor in my pajamas) .

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