Bloggers’ ranting style protects in free speech cases but may hurt in other realms

Bloggers may win victories in defamation cases since their heated critical commentary is easily identified as opinion rather than fact and not libelous, but the advantage may have a serious down side, writes John Sharkey for the Citizen Media Law Project.

Sharkey is concerned that in ruling for bloggers in defamation cases,  judges are making disparaging  comments about blogging, saying in one case that “blogs are a subspecies of online speech which inherently suggest that statements made there are not likely provable assertions of fact.” Sharkey is afraid that given a number of these judicial judgments, bloggers may have difficulty in the  realm of shield law and news gathering privilege. -db

From a commentary for the Citizen Media Law Project, November 7, 2011 by John Sharkey.

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