Friday, August 04, 2006

No Get Out of Jail Free Press Card

The news in the New York Times about a "Blogger Jailed After Defying Court Orders" should be giving civil libertarians some pause. After the self-proclaimed anarchist recorded a demonstration on video and sold some of the footage to news media, the blogger attracted the attention of Federal prosecutors, who claim that Wolf isn't protected by the state's shield law.

Luckily for Wolf, the San Francisco Chronicle is defending their blogging brother-in-arms with an editorial titled "Free Josh Wolf." His supporters have also set up a Wiki, and his mother is posting updates on his blog while Wolf is incarcerated for contempt.

Despite the Chronicle's gesture of fraternity, other bloggers claim that they aren't getting much respect from mainstream news sources, although established media organizations still harvest content from their stories on the Web. In "Outside the Tent: The Times Has No Respect for the Net" in the Los Angeles Times, blogger Catherine Seipp wonders "how are newspapers going to compete with online news if they can't even acknowledge that it exists?" (According to NPR journalist David Folkenflik of Media Circus, the Times has been persuing this strategy for over a year and a half. See "'L.A. Times' Invites 'Whacking' by Critics" for more.)

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