Judge’s Reversal in Illinois gives News Blog Protection Under Shield Law

In a decision that may have far reaching consequences for news blogs and other new media outlets in the U.S., an Illinois trial judge has reversed a January ruling that the technology news blog, TechnoBuffalo, did not qualify as a news medium under the Illinois reporter’s shield law (75 Ill. Comp. Stat. §§ 5/8-901 – 8-909). The Citizen Media Law Project reports that, after reconsideration, Judge Michael R. Panter of the Cook County Circuit Court found “within the present definitions under the Act,” TechnoBuffalo is, in fact, “a news medium, its employees are reporters … and TechnoBuffalo is protected by the Illinois reporter’s privilege.”

With the new ruling, Illinois joins only a few other states whose shield laws are interpreted to include blogs, but as the report indicates, the question will “clearly will arise more often, as the reach and influence of blogs and other forms of new media as sources of news and information continues to increase.”

Link to the full post by The Citizen Media Law Project

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