A blogger who was sued for defamation could not use Oregon's law to defend her use of material from a source --- in effect to try to shield her from the suit --- because the court ruled she was not entitled to the privileged position of mainstream media the law provides.
The court noted she was not affiliated with a media organization or entity. The law was written before blogging emerged. She has been ordered to pay $2.5 million in damages in the case.
Her defence was unusual, in that she was asserting the offending post was based on an anonymous source. She argued she deserved protection as a publisher under the law.
While experts believe the ruling will have little effect on journalism, it will stimulate debate on the definition of a journalist in the digital age and the possible need for legal reform to reflect the new definition.