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December 8, 2011
More on the case of Crystal Cox: A good decision made poorly?
The “blogger-not-a-journalist” thing still sticks, but … In the past few days, there’s been a bit of an uproar on the decision by a federal judge to decide, in a defamation case, that investigative blogger Crystal Cox isn’t a journalist protected by shield laws. We were ticked, too. However, Forbes reporter Kashmir Hill disputes the way the story was first presented by Seattle Weekly, which broke the story: “The facts in the case are far more complicated, and after hearing them, most journalists will not want to include Cox in their camp.” Hill points out that it appeared Cox was attempting to engage in reputation damage, not journalism, including sending out the e-mail shown above, in which Cox reportedly offered reputation-protection services. And ultimately, Cox’s claims —the ones that hit court after she was forced to give up her source — didn’t hold up to scrutiny. The fact of the matter is, the shield law element of this shouldn’t have even come up in the case: Even without it the claims wouldn’t have held up, according to Kevin Padrick, who claims ruin at the hands of Cox’s many sites. source
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The “blogger-not-a-journalist” thing still sticks, but … In the past few days, there’s been a bit of an uproar on the decision by a federal judge to decide, in a defamation case, that investigative blogger Crystal Cox isn’t a journalist protected by shield laws. We were ticked, too. However, Forbes reporter Kashmir Hill disputes the way the story was first presented by Seattle Weekly, which broke the story: “The facts in the case are far more complicated, and after hearing them, most journalists will not want to include Cox in their camp.” Hill points out that it appeared Cox was attempting to engage in reputation damage, not journalism, including sending out the e-mail shown above, in which Cox reportedly offered reputation-protection services. And ultimately, Cox’s claims —the ones that hit court after she was forced to give up her source — didn’t hold up to scrutiny. The fact of the matter is, the shield law element of this shouldn’t have even come up in the case: Even without it the claims wouldn’t have held up, according to Kevin Padrick, who claims ruin at the hands of Cox’s many sites. source

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12:57 // 2 years ago
December 7, 2011

jacjacattack says: i read your post about the oregon blogger, crystal cox, and i would love to hear your thoughts on the now-official divide between journalist and blogger, since you guys are (to my understanding) a bit of both. do you think that the court case will significantly change anything in the blogosphere? has it impacted how you run (or would run) shortformblog? (great blog by the way; very informative. thank you!) x

» SFB says: It’s early, and the decision only affects bloggers in Oregon at this point — and that’s only according to one judge. But now is a good time to definitely comb through journalist shield laws and figure out which states need updating. Seattle Weekly, which broke the story, talked to Bruce E. H. Johnson, the man who wrote the shield law in Washington, and he said this about the case: ”I believe the shield law would have been applied [in Washington state]. Oregon’s law was probably written before blogging was accounted for.” So, the real question is how to get these laws updated for an era where a “journalist” is anyone with a camera phone and a Twitter account. To answer your question: It’s too soon to say it’s had a chilling effect, but if it goes the wrong way, it certainly could. — Ernie @ SFB

11:35 // 2 years ago