Friday, February 29, 2008


Is it a blog? What is a blog?

by Larry Geller

PBS Mediashift article on Bloggers vs. JournalistsAndy Parx pointed me to this in-depth discussion from PBS, Distinction Between Bloggers, Journalists Blurring More Than Ever. Since Hawaii's legislature is considering a shield law, HB2557, that would protect journalists and possibly bloggers as well, the issue is very important to me right now. Thanks, Andy!

There's a little four-question quiz near the front of the article. The answers may surprise you.

Ian Lind has been writing about the shield law both on his blog and in a Honolulu Weekly article. He kindly left me the last word in his article:

Larry Geller, author of the Disappeared News blog, points to the example of whistleblower protection laws which, while sometimes ineffective, protect people no matter what they do.

“No matter what your profession, whether you’re a secretary or an engineer, you can seek protection as a whistleblower,” Geller said, urging that shield law protections be similarly based on the kind of information to be protected rather than the professional status of the person involved.

While I think this would be a useful way to go, it's not the way shield laws are currently written.

First thing ought to be to protect working journalists IMHO. I'd like to see bloggers protected also, and the Hawaii law looks like it might do that.

Doug White is following the shield law also, with good discussion in comments: Shield laws introduced in House and Senate. And see also The shield gets tweaked on the Advertiser's Capitol Notebook blog.

Yes, blog.

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