Thursday, February 17, 2005

ASNE counsel concurs on OPEN Government Act

In response to my post yesterday, OPEN Government Act appears to protect bloggers as members of media, I received the following note from Kevin M. Goldberg, a partner with Cohn and Marks LLP and counsel to the American Society of Newspaper Editors:
"Although I cannot speak for the intent of Senator Cornyn as to the meaning of this section, the addition of the final sentence in that section would appear to cover bloggers as it directly speaks to new journalists without much prior publication history. It may be instructive to note that the final sentence was not in the first draft of the bill because this language does what the first two sentences do not -- it creates a 'functional' definition of a member of the news media, looking beyond the requestor's affiliation or publication history to his or her intent to disseminate news or information at the time of the request. It also avoids content review by the government's FOIA officers. These seem to level the playing field for freelancers who are worthy of this fee waiver (and I for one, would classify bloggers as a subcategory of 'freelancers' in many ways)."

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