Citizen Journalism

Journalism Graduates: It's Time to Reinvent Journalism

Spring is upon us and with it comes commencement season at universities across the country (Harvard's 358th commencement is this Thursday, FYI).  This is a tough time for graduates in almost every discipline, but especially so for journalism grads.  At least that is the conventional wisdom. 

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NY Legislature Proactively Considering Whether Shield Law Applies to Bloggers? How Novel!

As anyone who's been faithfully reading the CMLP blog knows, the law hasn't been particularly good at dealing with the intersection of media shield laws and bloggers.  Although there seems to be a modest trend towards application of shield laws to anonymous commenters on news stories, the judiciary's application of shield laws to bloggers has been pretty

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Web of Justice?: Jurors' Use of Social Media

At the start of a trial, the judge usually reads to jurors general instructions about how the trial will proceed. The instructions also tell jurors how they should behave during the trial, including the admonition that they should not discuss the case with others, including both trial participants and outsiders.

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Blogger Wins $225,000 Settlement Over Public Records Delay

In a nice cautionary tale for government agents who refuse to take public records requests seriously, Washington state political blogger Stefan Sharkansky won a $225,000 settlement last week from a county government that took two years to comply with his request for information.  The settlement ended Sharkansky's lawsuit against King County over officials' improper delay in producing documents related to the state's 2004 gubernatorial election.

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Goldman Sachs Tries To Bully Blogger

chad-parke-demand-to-gs666 Michael Morgan is a Florida blogger who is a little bit upset with Goldman Sachs and its business practices.

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Texas Moves Closer to Shielding Journalists, Bloggers' Protection Unclear

Bloggers in the Lone Star State are being left out of a law that would give journalists limited protection against subpoenas. The Texas House has passed overwhelmingly a bill that would let Texas join some 36 other states in erecting a shield for journalists who want to keep confidential information secret, even in the face of a subpoena.

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Mistrial by iPhone, New Technologies Present Challenges in the Courtroom

While we are generally in favor of allowing new technologies into the courtroom (e.g., live blogging, webcasts, Twitter, etc.)  in order to make it easier for the public to monitor the functioning of our court systems, sometimes technology can be taken too far. 

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Journalism that Matters at the Poynter Institute

Next week, I'll be participating in and speaking at Journalism that Matters: Adapting Journalism to the New News Ecology, a conference organized by the Poynter Institute and Media Giraffe Project.

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Live-blogging journalism? You betcha. It's just not always good journalism.

As a young journalist, I remember listening with interest to colleagues recounting long-ago fights for the right to bring cameras into the court room. And while that battle hasn't been won everywhere, it appears nevertheless to be giving way to a new wave of concerns.

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The Unspoken Peril for "Citizen Journalists" Surprise! You Owe the IRS Some Gift Tax!

StinkyJournalism.org: The Unspoken Peril for "Citizen Journalists" Surprise! You Owe the IRS Some Gift Tax!

Is the “donation” of a citizen’s content (video, articles, commentaries, images) to for-profit media outlets that exceeds a fair market value of $12,000 in any single year subject to gift tax? Judging from the IRS guidelines, the answer is “yes.”

This is a surprise, and an unwelcome one.

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News and Information as Digital Media Come of Age

After a year of study, countless meetings, and at least two conferences, a team of researchers at the Berkman Center have released a series of papers exploring the potential and challenges of the emerging networked digital media environment (note: I played a small role in this work).  If you are sitting there thinking that this is a BIG topic rife with thorny questions about the future of journalism, you're right. 

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More Online Journalists Jailed Than Any Other Media Group

Online speakers are attracting more attention than ever from governments across the world, for good or for ill. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), more online journalists are currently imprisoned for their speech than journalists in print, broadcast, or other media.  The CPJ identified 125 journalists currently serving prison sentences, 45 percent of whom are bloggers, Web-based reporters, or online editors.

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Riddle v. Myers

Date: 

01/07/2008

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Chris Myers; "Another Leverette Teacher"

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Individual

Court Type: 

State

Court Name: 

Lucas County, Ohio Court Of Common Pleas

Case Number: 

G-4801-CI-200801115-000

Legal Counsel: 

C. William Bair; Fan Zhang; Salvatore C. Molaro

Publication Medium: 

Website

Status: 

Concluded

Disposition: 

Withdrawn

Description: 

Steven Riddle, the principal of Leverette Junior High School, filed a defamation lawsuit against Chris Myers, the operator of SwampBubbles, a website that describes itself as " a user centered site dedicated to breaking news and political discussion of Toledo and Northwest Ohio," claiming that the site has been posting items that are "false and defamatory."

According to the complaint, defamatory postings were written by at least three unnamed people in response to a story on the site about a Leverette school employee charged with sexually assaulting a student. 

Riddle also named as a defendant "Another Leverette Teacher," which the complaint did not name.  According to the ToledoBlade.com, the complaint also requested that Myers be ordered to provide facts that would allow Riddle "to identify the persons who defamed him."

Update:

On March 3, 2008, Meyers filed a Motion For Protective Order and in the Alternative, Motion For Summary Judgment.

On September 23, 2008, the court scheduled an oral hearing on Myers' Motion for Protective Order and in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment for October 30, 2008 at 11:00 a.m.

On November 14, 2008, plaintiff filed a notice of dismissal without prejudice which the Court granted.

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CMLP Notes: 

To-Do: Get court documents

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1-High

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CMLP Teams Up With NewsU to Launch Online Media Law Course

We're pleased to announce that News University launched its Online Media Law course today.  The course is specifically designed for individuals and journalists engaged in online publishing, and it covers three important areas of media law -- defamation, privacy, and copyright. The course is free.

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Congressman Wears Two Hats: Legislator and Citizen Journalist

Even elected officials can be citizen journalists.  The New York Times has an interesting report about Representative John Culberson (R) of Texas, who took on a role normally filled by CSPAN after the House had officially adjourned for its summer recess last Friday.

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Searching for Both Sides of the Bicyclist Body Slam Video

A tourist captured video of a New York City police officer body slamming a bicycle rider who was participating in a group ride through Times Square. The video posted on YouTube depicts the incident in a way that is inconsistent with the series of events described in the police officer's criminal complaint.

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Global Voices Summit 2008

Last week, Global Voices held a summit in Budapest, Hungary for its members and the wider community of bloggers, activists, technologists, journalists and others from around the world. Called the

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The Future of Civic Media at MIT

I'll be at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the next two days at a conference for the winners of the Knight News Challenge. CMLP was a lucky recipient of a Knight News Challenge award in 2007.

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