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The Blogosphere is the Newsroom of Today, Not Tomorrow–Kansas Senate Passes Legislation to Expand Journalists’ Shield to Online Journalists

Kansas Blogger Shield LegislationIn a debate that is both broad in opinion and heavy with sometimes leaden rhetoric, Kansas (not CA, not NY) has today taken a powerful step in legitimizing the efforts of bloggers and other forms of online journalism.  While other states have some form of protection for online journalists (sometimes hinging on whether or not income is derived from the reporting), Kansas is the first to provide the most aggressive form of protection, by making the definition of “journalists” very expansive.

As Lucy Dalglish, executive director of The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, states:

“It’s as good as you’re ever going to get. . . It describes the function of journalism as best as it can and then it tries to incorporate people who do journalism regularly in any form — whether it be print, broadcast, Internet or posting a sheet of toilet paper to a bulletin board.”

According to the Citizen’s Media Project, this shield legislation is a direct response to the Kansas Supreme Court order in the O’Brien case, which can be read here.

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