TRENTON, N.J. – The New Jersey Supreme Court says people posting in online message boards don't have the same protections for sources as mainstream journalists.Just what does the first amendment cover then? What does the NJ SC think the 1st amendment covers? I believe it covers both free speech and a free press. Anyone who owns a printing press is a journalist...today that means anyone with a computer and the ability to write a coherent sentence. After all, did the MSM actually report on Congressman Anthony Weiner's indescretions...Andrew Breibart did. Andrew isn't a journalist under this ruling, though I'd beg to differ on that.
The court ruled Tuesday that New Jersey's shield law for journalists does not apply to such message boards.
The case involved a New Jersey-based software company named Too Much Media. It sued a Washington state blogger for defamation and wanted her to reveal sources she cited on message board posts.
Shellee Hale claimed customer information was compromised and that she should be protected from revealing her sources.
New Jersey's highest court says online message boards are little more than forums for discussion and don't fit the definition of news media as described by the law.
Hopefully, this will be overtuned in the federal system as any 'journalist' shield law is at it's heart, a shackling of anyone who speaks out on any topic that "offends" someone.