Over at my day job, I wrote:
Can bloggers be considered “journalists”? That question has been the source of a lot of debate, and it’s one that may take on a slightly different flavor shortly. Congress is preparing to consider a law that will likely legislate who can be called a “journalist.”
And Senator Richard Lugar, one of the sponsors of the bill, thinks that probably won’t include bloggers.
If that’s the case, a law posing as a protection of journalistic integrity could turn out to have wide-ranging effects on any individual or organization that publishes content expressing any sort of message, explicit or implicit, regarding current events. Regardless of whether you’re an individual blogger, an e-marketer, a media corporation, or someone selling t-shirts on CafePress, there’s reason for you to take notice.
Congress and the Federal government, like most institutions, is having a hard time dealing with the fact that the Internet and participatory media have turned everyone into the media. The Fourth Estate used to be pretty well-defined–the guys who owned the broadcast licenses and the big pressses were the “media”, period. But now, the definition isn’t so clear anymore–so some in Congress feel the need to legislate one they’re comfortable with.