Monday, October 10, 2005

Senator Lugar Doesn't Think Bloggers Are Journalists

Indiana's senior Senator Richard Lugar (R), who is proposing the Free Flow of Information Act of 2005 to shield journalists from having to disclose their sources by making such communications privileged, believes that bloggers are "probably not" journalists entitled to coverage under his proposed legislation. According to Editor and Publisher, Lugar told the Inter American Press Association: "Are bloggers journalists or some of the commercial businesses that you here would probably not consider real journalists? Probably not, but how do you determine who will be included in this bill?"

Defining who is a journalist is a major problem with Lugar's legislation. The story reports that some journalists actually oppose a new shield law because they "fear that giving Congress the power to define who is and isn't a journalist could lead effectively to the licensing of journalists."

Lugar acknowledged that his legislation may be giving preferential treatment to journalists over ordinary Americans. "I think, very frankly, you can make a case that this is a special boon for reporters, and certainly for their role in freedom of the press," he said. "At the end of the day what we will come out with says there is something privileged about being a reporter, and being able to report on something without being thrown into jail." The jailing of New York Times reporter Judith Miller, a long-time friend of Lugar's, inspired him to introduce the legislation.

3 comments:

Brain Webster said...

A blogger is...well...a blogger. A journalist is published and printed. A blog is one step above a message board. What sources do bloggers have to protect? Get serious....

Advance Indiana said...

Brain,

That may be true of many bloggers, but others are doing ground-breaking investigative reports on their blog sites courtesy of confidential sources in many cases. Matt Drudge and his Drudge Report is the best example, but there are many others. Advance Indiana sometimes has its own confidential sources for reports posted here. I can tell you that very reputable reporters spend part of every day surveying certain blog sites and, in somes cases, using their material for MSM reports.

Gary

Brian Webster said...

I have seen a few things on here that have been anti-Lugar and pro-Bayh...that just doesn't make sense. Lugar has done A LOT for the state of Indiana as a senator. Bayh hasn't an original idea of any worth in years. He is a moderate Democrat who will go as far left as necessary to win the party's nomination in '08. Then he will piss of the mostly Republican state of Indiana and therefore not be able to retain his seat in the Senate. If you compare the bio/accomplishments of both Bayh and Lugar...Lugar wins in a landslide.