Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D.-Calif., thinks a proposed media shield law should be applied only to “real reporters,” not basement-dwelling, pajama-clad bloggers with no professional credentials:
“I can’t support it if everyone who has a blog has a special privilege … or if Edward Snowden were to sit down and write this stuff, he would have a privilege. I’m not going to go there,” she said.
Feinstein introduced an amendment that defines a “covered journalist” as someone who gathers and reports news for “an entity or service that disseminates news and information.” The definition includes freelancers, part-timers and student journalists, and it permits a judge to go further and extend the protections to any “legitimate news-gathering activities.”
Under the definition proposed by Feinstein, a student working for a tiny college newspaper would get protection, but Matt Drudge, the owner and operator of the most successful news site on the Internet, might not.
As far as we know, the distinction Feinstein is making isn’t mentioned in the First Amendment. But what do we know? We’re just bloggers.
Editor’s note: This post has been updated with an additional tweet.