From Trochilus Tales, NJ Superior Court Judge: Blogger Protected By State Shield Law:
A New Jersey Superior Court Judge, Karen M. Cassidy, A.J.S.C., has issued a written opinion (posted by CountyWatchers, here and hereafter cited as “decis”) quashing a subpoena that had been issued by the Union County Prosecutor, Theodore Romankow, whose office had been seeking to compel a county-oriented blogger by the name of Tina Renna, to disclose the sources for a few recent posts (e.g., here, here, and here) which Tina wrote revealing details about a number of Union County, NJ local employees were misusing their official positions to make personal use county property (portable electrical generators) during the recent “superstorm” Sandy….
The judge rejected several arguments that had been advanced by the State urging that Renna and her organizational blogger participants were not journalists at all (citing as evidence the fact that they had not previously identified themselves as such), petty ruminations about spelling and grammatical errors contained in her posts, and a claim that she and her blog participants were identifiable as advocates for political change, rather than as journalists.
This is an important ruling because bloggers increasingly are doing the work the mainstream media refuses, or can’t afford, to do.
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