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US: Bloggers cannot enjoy journalists' legal privileges, says Oregon judge in $1.6 million lawsuit

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One law for bloggers; one law for journalists rules judge
(image by Laughing Squid for Flickr)
A blogger in the US state of Oregon has just been ordered by a court to pay $2.5m ( £1.6m) to an investment company because of a defamatory posting. Crystal Cox was sued by investment firm Obsidian Finance Group for writing several blog posts that were highly critical of the firm and its co-founder Kevin Padrick. She argued in Portland district court that she should have the same legal protection that is afforded to journalists. She said her posts - a mixture of facts, commentary and opinion - were based on material supplied by a whistle-blower whose identity she refused to reveal. She considered herself to be a journalist and should therefore be entitled to protection under media shield laws that allow journalists not to identify their sources. But Oregon's shield law doesn't explicitly include bloggers in its list.

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