journalist bloggers in new york may receive the same protection that traditional journalists enjoy. a new bill introduced by state sen. tom duane and assembly member linda rosenthal would give bloggers access to shield laws that journalists use to protect anonymous sources.
new york state has one of the strongest shield laws in the country to protect journalists, but only those who work in traditional media.
the bill stems, in part, from the bronx district attorney's attempt to identify commentators and bloggers on the new york city political website room 8. the district attorney subpoenaed the site's founders.
the introduction of the new bill, duane said in a statement, shows that government recognizes the changing landscape of media. the bill would define a blog as a website or web page that contains an online journal with news and comments, and that offers hyperlinks provided by the writer.
"enacting this legislation will ensure that those reporters who write for a blog are given the same protections as traditional print or television journalists," duane said. "if we don't, we face a chilling effect on free speech and journalists' ability to aggressively report the news."