NJ Judge Issues Idiotic Ruling, Sets Terrible New Media Precedent
After reading about this ruling, all I can conclude is that New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Judge Anthony J. Parrillo is inept and rarely uses new media or he has an inability to reason (perhaps a cocktail of the two). In a ruling that defies rationality, he claims that bloggers aren't journalists. Here's what happened: Shellee Hale, a Washington State-based writer posted in the comments section of a blog. Apparently, she posted information about an alleged security breach at Too Much Media, a New Jersey software company.
Though the company admitted the breach, Too Much Media sued Shellee Hale for defamation and demanded that she give up her anonymous source. Unfortunately, Parrillo ruled against Hale, claiming that she is not protected by journalism's coveted shield law (because she's a mere "blogger"). S.T. Karnick has more:
The Garden State has a shield law for journalists, meaning the government cannot force reporters or opinion writers to reveal their sources. There is nothing more vigorously defended among journalists than the right to keep secret one’s anonymous sources in service of “the public’s right to know.
In his ruling, the judge said, “Simply put, new media should not be confused with news media.” Apparently, Parrillo's not one for reading online news, most of which -- including mainstream outlets -- relies heavily on new and social media. Simply stated: This is a terrible precedent. Then again, this isn't the first stench to come from Jersey, so I'll withhold my surprise. Read more here.