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Dear Mr. Meadows,
I am a student at Boston University majoring in journalism and am working on an advocacy term paper for my Media Law & Ethics class. For the paper, I plan to focus on whether or not news bloggers are covered by state “shield laws” that protect them from getting charged with “contempt of court” for not revealing their sources (or any relevant information that they might have) when subpoenaed for a court case. That is, I will be discussing whether or not such bloggers have what is known as a “reporter’s privilege.” Most states acknowledge that journalists have at least some sort of qualified reporter’s privilege, but where do bloggers fall? Do all (or only some) bloggers have the same rights as professional journalists? Of course, the first question that needs to be addressed is whether or not news bloggers are journalists.
I am writing you to ask if you, considering the focus of your blog, could provide your thoughts on any or all of the above topics. I am in the preliminary research steps and am looking to consult experts like you in order to build my own argument.
If you have the time and feel like you could address this issue, I’d be very interested in citing you as a source in my term paper. I’m sure you have a wealth of insight to contribute to my initial research.
Thanks in advance for your help. If you have any questions, please let me know.
Hi Alia, I just discovered this — I believe it was stopped by my spam filter for some reason. I apologize for not being available at the time. Let me know if I can still be of help.
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