By Barry Tucker 16 September, 2014
The advent of the internet has allowed people to put their ideas before a world-wide audience, within minutes. It has been a game changer.
While the old world print media thrashes around trying to find a solution to the migration of advertising to the internet and the loss of readers, former readers are using the internet to express their ideas and relieve their frustration.
The old arguments about whether someone is a reporter or a journalist continue, along with opinions on what limitations, if any, should apply to each category.
At the same time, partly for economic and partly for political reasons (and sometimes the two are tangled), there are arguments about the role and purpose of traditional news organisations and the legitimacy of the new outlets: the magazines and bloggers of the internet.
In the unlikely setting of the New Zealand High Court, Justice Raynor Asher has considered existing laws around the world and decided that a blogger is a journalist.
The ruling may now affect decisions in the courts of other countries, including the often controversial “shield laws” — those rulings that extend to journalists the right to protect their sources, in the public interest of disclosure.
However, Justice Asher did not extend this privilege to the case before the court.