Wednesday, June 21

Are we journalists yet?

If I had to find panties large enough for the whole blogosphere...but at least the guy in the green shirt looks happy, or is that a wedgie wince on his face?

This is something I've been wondering for a while now: What are bloggers, exactly? I found myself filling out a Sunday School registration form (for the UU's) and came to "mother's occupation". "Mother" sounded redundant, though accurate; "homemaker" or worse, "housewife" was out of the question. I only use "innocent spouse" when I'm signing the tax return. What about "blogger"? It certainly is a (pre)occupation, though few find successful ways to derive income from their blogs.

I thought about it for another second and put down, for the first time in my life, "writer." It sounded right then and still does. No imposter syndrome. Amazing.

That's just one of the self-affirming things blogging has done for me. And it turns out more and more the law is on my side. Case law is something I'm married to, not something I follow, but as Mr. Blue Gal will strongly attest, case law is what defines and re-defines roles for all of us, from who is a "marriage partner" to what is a "blogger." It's worth paying attention to case law in blogging to find out just who society thinks we are.

There's a good overview of the whole bloggers as journalists, including legal cases, in this National Journal article. As our society continues to grow in awareness of the blogosphere (and please, please, don't forget that blogging is still NEW), bloggers are more and more being thought of, legally, as journalists. This means blogs are protected speech, bloggers can protect their sources, etc. The jury is still out as to whether we will be given press passes as a matter of course, and that, I suppose is not a legal issue but an influence issue. I imagine Markos can get in where he pleases at this point. Blogging as journalism also leads to all kinds of responsibilities, like getting the story right (unless you're blogging for Fox, I guess), and spelling correctly. "Your a geenius" doesn't cut it. Even in comments. Understood?


  1. Mmmmm, how do ye feel about talkin' like a pirate? As always, methinks th' Cap'n be on th'fringe...

  2. I just write Omnipotent Being in the blank. It's as good a fit as any and I figure if the tax man comes I'll declare for a religious exemption. I figure if Mormons can do it, so can I.

    My Air Force dog tags carried Granatellism for a religion. Granatelli was an old Indianapolis 500 winner who advertised for STP engine treatment by showing how he could pick up an oily screwdriver because Brand X wasn't slick enough.

    Whenever someone would ask me about it, I would tell them I was a Grand Priest of Grantellism and our core belief was that anyone who could pick up a slippery screwdriver must obviously be a God.

    About halfway through the story they'd begin treating me like someone from the Watchtower and tell me to move along.

    I got through more long processing lines like that. It was a pretty handy schpiel.

  3. Wait a second - I recognize that picture! It's from the early seventies... the guy in the green shirt is none other than John Kerry!

    - Jim Pender, Swift Panty Veterans for Truth

  4. "- Jim Pender, Swift Panty Veterans for Truth"

    Ha! :>)

    Them's some mighty big undies to fill!

  5. "...but at least the guy in the green shirt looks happy, or is that a wedgie wince on his face"?

    I think it's a wedge issue that he has no problem being in the middle of...

  6. Too soon to define.

    Remember your Art History. Consider it a new art medium. Are you Frida Kahlo? Am I Jackson Pollock?

    History will record all of this much differently than we view ourselves. You can be sure of that. -JJ


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