Right of a blogger’s anonymity: a selection of views

Since this week’s ruling that NightJack, winner of the Orwell Prize’s first political blogging award, could not remain anonymous was announced – summed up  by Paul Bradshaw here –  bloggers, commentators and commenters have typed furiously (a few the links at the end of this post). Has the Times been hypocritical? What are the implications for those working and writing about life in the public sector? Should one be able to protect one’s identity as a blogger… or journalist?

The only thing Journalism.co.uk will add is this insight into the Times’ investigative process of the case, as provided by the Times:

“The action arose after Patrick Foster, a Times journalist, identified the NightJack blogger ‘by a process of deduction and detective work, mainly using information on the internet,’ the judge said.”

“Mr Horton was adamant that he had taken great pains to keep his identity secret. But on his blog, he also described his visits to a jiu-jitsu club, adding a hyperlink to the website of the organising body for the martial art. Lancashire Constabulary jiu-jitsu club lists only one member who is a detective – Detective Constable Richard Horton.”

Some of the wider discussion:

Finally, Horton’s Orwell Prize win as reported by Journalism.co.uk in April 2009:

“Anonymous blogger ‘Jack Night’ took the award in the blogging category, for his site NightJack.  In a speech made on his behalf, Jack said the last year had seen blogging become a more important part of the political reporting world. The blogger, who ended his posting after being shortlisted for the award, donated his prize to the Police Dependants’ Trust.”

14 thoughts on “Right of a blogger’s anonymity: a selection of views

  1. Pingback: From the Online » NightJack - issues raised

  2. Pingback: Online Journalism Blog: How to blog anonymously | Journalism.co.uk Editors' Blog

  3. Pingback: Bloggere fradømt retten til anonymitet « NONA: nettverket for oss som jobber med nettmedier

  4. Pingback: The complicated case of the (now not) anonymous police blogger, The Times, and ‘public interest’ | Online Journalism Blog

  5. Pingback: One Man and His Blog

  6. Pingback: Is the Times hiding negative comments about its Nightjack story? » malcolm coles

  7. Pingback: Anonymiteten är i fara | KATTKORGEN

  8. Pingback: That was the week that was « The Martin Cloake blog

  9. Pingback: Global Voices Online » United Kingdom: Court decides against a blogger’s rights to anonymity

  10. Pingback: Global Voices Online: The unmasking of NightJack as told by the UK blogs | Journalism.co.uk Editors' Blog

  11. Pingback: Global Voices auf Deutsch » Großbritannien: Gericht entscheidet gegen die Anonymitätsrechte eines Bloggers

  12. Pingback: Readers Edition » Großbritannien: Gericht entscheidet gegen die Anonymitätsrechte eines Bloggers

  13. Pingback: Anonymous local hack: They have ‘fundamentally destroyed the layout of my papers’ | Journalism.co.uk Editors' Blog

  14. Pingback: Online anonymity: Journalism.co.uk joins the debate on Al Jazeera English | Journalism.co.uk Editors' Blog

Leave a Reply