From Volokh: ‘Bloggers = Media for First Amendment Libel Law Purposes’

Full post here.

A protected class of journalists doesn’t sound like a great idea for a free and open society:

Volokh quoting the Ninth Circuit ruling:

‘The protections of the First Amendment do not turn on whether the defendant was a trained journalist, formally affiliated with traditional news entities, engaged in conflict-of-interest disclosure, went beyond just assembling others’ writings, or tried to get both sides of a story. As the Supreme Court has accurately warned, a First Amendment distinction between the institutional press and other speakers is unworkable: “With the advent of the Internet and the decline of print and broadcast media … the line between the media and others who wish to comment on political and social issues becomes far more blurred.” Citizens United, 558 U.S. at 352. In defamation cases, the public-figure status of a plaintiff and the public importance of the statement at issue — not the identity of the speaker — provide the First Amendment touchstones.’

It may just be me, but I think we can do better than an institutionalized class of journalists formed around a guild structure, agreeing generally upon a basic worldview while following around our political class and generally quoting the ‘proper’ public intellectuals.

Of course, a lot of people say this until they get in the majority, or have their ideas and interests in power or in favor.

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