Three days ago, three bloggers received press accreditation after suing New York City, following the Police Department refusal to give them press credentials because they work for online news outlets.
They have now been issued credentials after the police relented, the bloggers’ lawyer, Norman Siegel, has said (via NY Times City Room blog and Associated Press).
Rafael Martínez Alequin – (Your Free Press), Ralph E. Smith (The Guardian Chronicle) and David Wallis (featurewell.com) lauched the action after being denied credentials in 2007.
Although they have now been issued press cards the bloggers’ lawyer, Norman Siegel told the NYTimes in a phone interview that the trio would still pursue legal action. The NYTimes.com blog reported:
“Mr. Siegel sad [sic] he was delighted with the outcome, but he vowed to continue the lawsuit, saying further reforms were needed.
Siegel told the NYTimes.com:
“This step recognizes that bloggers are 21st-century journalists (…)
“It’s an important first step, but only a first step, because we still need to address the constitutional problem of who gets press credentials in New York City. The Police Department should not be in the business of determining who’s a journalist.”
Though nationally reported there doesn’t seem to have been much discussion in the online journalism world yet (please do add links below, if you’ve picked up any interesting comments).
It’s an interesting case for the ongoing legal definition of journalist/blogger. In the UK, for example, Jack Straw has announced that some family courts will now be opened to the press. But how will press be defined when the changes come in?
As Journalism.co.uk reported on this blog in December, the definition of ‘journalist’ has not yet been clarified…