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Bloggers are not Journalists, says House

First amendment? Not on our watch says the House of Representatives when it comes to bloggers.

In a story today at Web Pro News, Jason Lee Miller goes over the points of a new bill in Congress designed to protect journalists from revealing their sources. Now and forever. But the House has other plans when it comes to blogs and bloggers.

According to the article, the Senate and the House do agree on a few points defining a journalist:

“the regular gathering, preparing, collecting, photography, recording, writing, editing, reporting, or publishing of news or information that concerns local, national, or international events or other matters of public interest for dissemination to the public.”

But the House goes on to add their own qualifier:

“for a substantial portion of the person’s livelihood or for substantial financial gain and includes a supervisor, employer, parent, subsidiary, or affiliate of such covered person.”

So basically, you’re a journalist, only if the money you make comes from journalism… Kind of forgetting a few people there, aren’t we? Like freelancers, unpaid reporters, and oh yeah, 99% of the blogosphere!

Skipping over that whole “free press” concept, right? I call bullshit here and you should too. Let your congressmen know how you feel fellow bloggers. Let them know that you too are a journalist, even if it’s not your primary source of income.

How do you go about it? You make phone calls, you send emails, you send snail mail. You get involved. Nothing happens if nothing happens, you dig?


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