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This seems to be a case of a judge ignoring a few words in order to be able to misinterpret a law. Oregon's media shield law applies to people who are "connected with, employed by or engaged in any medium of communication to the public", and defines "any medium of communication" thus:

“Medium of communication” has its ordinary meaning and includes, but is not limited to, any newspaper, magazine or other periodical, book, pamphlet, news service, wire service, news or feature syndicate, broadcast station or network, or cable television system.

Apparently, the judge didn't spot the "but is not limited to" part of that definition.

(The text of the relevant laws: http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/044.html)




As kevinalexbrown noted, this also seems to be a case of people ignoring the next paragraph of the decision.


I don't really think the second paragraph matters so much. If he is saying "bloggers aren't 'the media'" or that you essentially have to be employed by a big name media agency in order to get protections, that is a big deal.

He could have easily said that she is part of the media, but that the law doesn't protect those in the media from these types of lawsuits. Reading the law, I think blogging does fall into the category that gives it protection, even if those protections wouldn't have made a difference in this case.


Yep. This is not a limitation of the law, this is a deeply unimaginative judge. The "ordinary meaning" of "medium of communication" is extremely broad, and even if implicitly narrowed to the general context of the statute, easily includes most bloggers.




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