David Ardia of IdeaLab recently blogged this post entitled "Bush Signs Freedom of Information Act Reform Bill Benefitting Bloggers". As his last executive action for 2007, President Bush signed into law the "Open Government Act of 2007". The legislation makes bloggers and other non-traditional journalists eligible for reduced processing and duplication fees that are available to “representatives of the news media.” This means citizen journalists are journalists under the act. So does this mean they have the same rights and privileges afforded to professional journalists?
As I explained in a post on the Citizen Media Law Project's blog two weeks ago, the legislation substantially reforms the Freedom of Information Act and expands the definition of who is a "representative of the news media" under FOIA. This change would significantly benefit bloggers and non-traditional journalists by making them eligible for reduced processing and duplication fees that are available to "representatives of the news media."This is deep! So like blogging and podcasting makes one a journalist 'cause like Shrub signed off on this! Who would have thunk? Like Dubya does...er...think...right? Just sayin...
I find this so IRONIC that this bill comes through from a lame duck president considering some of the things the Bush administration did during the presidency with regards to civil liberties and secrecy.
Here's a nice piece from NPR: Classifying Once-Open Fed Documents by Alex Chadwick
Today on the picket lines I met somebody in my SecretSocialNetwork who identified me by my alt (see I knew it was only a matter of time). The guy happens to be a photo journalist for the L.A. Times, so in the midst of picketing about the latest late night programming developments, we had a deep conversation about journalism and what it means to be "fair and balanced." I still contend as a citizen journalist the issue is accuracy in reporting. At least, it's been my challenge in my strike coverage endeavor.