From Ken Paulson, president of the First Amendment Center, dean of the College of Mass Communication at Middle Tennessee State University, and a member of the USA TODAY Board of Contributors:
….The purpose of the free press clause of the First Amendment was to keep an eye on people in power and maintain a check on corruption. Given the cutbacks in traditional media, bloggers have taken up the slack, serving as watchdogs — with attitude. And, of course, traditional reporters now blog daily, and prominent bloggers show up in traditional news media.
Yet we still see an uninformed attitude from some lawmakers and judges who seem not to understand that digital and social media deserve the same respect as newspapers, magazines and broadcasters. There is still resistance to including bloggers in a federal shield law, and as recently as 2012 a federal court judge concluded that “liking” a Facebook page was not protected free speech, a flawed decision overturned in September…..