The First Amendment at work: Bloggers are the press, too

For converged communicators in MMC3200 (Law and Ethics in Communication), an interesting legal case – one that shows how the First Amendment’s interpretations continue to evolve.

As reported by Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times (http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-blogger-1st-amendment-20140117,0,5295817.story#axzz2s7nol9cx), a blogger was sued by Obsidian Finance Group after she accused the group of misconduct on her blog. A lower court ruled against the blogger, awarding Obsidian $2.5 million in damages. The blogger chose to appeal.

The next step in the process was an appellate court – the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco. The appellate court overturned the jury’s award on the grounds that the blogger’s speech was protected because it involved topics of public concern. According to the court, she could not be punished for “presumed, unproven harm” to the company unless the company could show that she acted with malice or published material she knew to be false.

This case is significant for several reasons. One of the most important, though, is that it extends First Amendment protections to bloggers – protections that are often associated in the public’s mind only with “traditional media.” Thus, the company could not win a lawsuit against the blogger unless it could prove that she had malicious intentions – proof the company was unable to show.

It’s worth keeping in mind as we continue to evaluate the liberties provided under the First Amendment.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Campus Voice

The official student newspaper of Florida State College at Jacksonville

Fork, Spoon & Knife

Three Different Plates

Runners Rock

Run Longer, Run Faster, Train Harder...Challenge Yourself and Get Stronger!

~ AROUND HERE ~

A way of discovering excitement on Florida's First Coast

The River City Diet

Jacksonville's Hop on the Health Food Wagon

The Revamping Of Downtown Jacksonville

A Jacksonvillian talking about Downtown Jax.

watsjm2

A fine WordPress.com site

Traveling Hunger

An Exploration of Food Trucks

Follow the Felines.

a semi-newbie to the blogging world attempting to be a voice for the voiceless.

Sumaira Rajpoot

Love all, trust few, do wrong to none.

Jaxpitals

Informing Jacksonville, Florida of health related news.

Rachel Taylor

Oh the places we'll go

Shine04

904 Shines

Bellflower's Insight

Blogging for digital media

hbilings

digital media

Rose Francois

Creating to spark minds

Glenn! The Great Communicator...?

[ Insert Clever Title Here ]

RTLang

Assembling Digital Media Class Blog

Amy's Journey

The Road to Communication Excellance

Assembling Digital Media - Spring 2014

part of the FSCJ Converged Communication baccalaureate program

River City Communicator

Going step by step through the world of Converged Communications

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: