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Press Seen Losing Privilege in Age of Blog

News Analysis (aka The Context) in today’s NY Times on yesterday’s Supreme Court decision not to hear a case involving New York Times reporter Judith Miller and Time Magazine’s Matthew Cooper’s refusal to testify about conversations they had with confidential sources includes an opinion from Rodney A. Smolla, dean of the University of Richmond School of Law the suggests the Internet and the blogophere are diffusing the need for special privileges under the First Amendment.

NY Times:

“The federal judiciary, from the Supreme Court down, has grown very skeptical of any claim that the institutional press is deserving of First Amendment protection over and above those of ordinary citizens,” Professor Smolla said. “The rise of the Internet and blogger culture may have contributed to that. It makes it more difficult to draw lines between the traditional professional press and those who disseminate information from their home computers.”

My Two Cents:

I’m not sure if the University of Richmond has a particularly well known law school, but the only Richmond I’ve ever heard of is a Bart destination in Northern California’s East Bay. But regardless of Smolla’s objectivity, one can’t help but wonder if this opinion was included in the article for self seeking purposes.

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