Blogger Wins Defamation Suit

A South Carolina US District Court Judge threw out a defamation lawsuit filed against a blogger who "published articles on the internet critical of the Plaintiffs' business." Here is the key section of this 16-page ruling:
[In] determining whether Smith was engaged in news reporting or in news commentating, the court has applied the functional analysis ... which examines the content of the material, not the format, to determine whether it is journalism... Upon review of the content of the article, the court finds that Smith's use of the BidZirk mark in the article was in the context of news reporting or news commentary... Smith's article evidences his intent to report what he believed was a newsworthy story for consumers.
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CBC Proposes “Approve Before Publish” Blogging Rules

According to a new "guideline" (not "policy"), any CBC employee -- not just those who are journalists -- must obtain permission of their supervisor before starting a personal blog that “clearly associates them with CBC/Radio-Canada.” Even after getting approval, the blog "cannot advocate for a group or a cause or express partisan political opinion." More a Inside CBC.com. (tip)

The acting editor in chief insists (in a comment) that this is a benign guideline (implication: no teeth): "we are trying to provide guidance for CBC staff that is consistent with existing practices and ensure the same high ethical and quality standards that are hallmarks of CBC."

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