But Tumblr is growing up, fast: the site expanded its user base by 900 per cent in the year to June 2011. In 2010, it served under two billion monthly page views; now, it generates about 14 billion, more than Wikipedia or Twitter. Its 36 million users so far have created 42 million posts each day — 13.5 billion in total. According to Nielsen, it was the UK’s second most popular social network or blog in the third quarter of 2011, with 229.6 million page views, trailing only Facebook. In September 2011, the company raised $85 million (£55m) from investors — a round that valued Tumblr at $800 million (£500m).
- Uprisings In Translation (Legitimately my new favorite blog. Be prepared for lots of photos of gorgeous revolutionary graffiti with accompanying translations.)
- Muslim Women in History (Not just the MENA region, but a heavy dose of it)
- Sharquaouia (Formerly “Charquaouia”)
- That Sassy Arab
- Pax Machina
- Abu Dai
- Ihya Magazine
- Al Masry Al Youm (Egyptian newspaper; posts in Arabic)
- Mamfakinch (a mix of Arabic, English, and French posting on Moroccan politics)
- Mashallah Blog (more than just MENA)
Over 40 states have shield laws that protect journalists from revealing information about the sources used during their reporting.
This is all well and good until you get into the tricky business of actually defining who a journalist is. Someone reporting for CNN? No brainer. Except for jaded, we all agree he or she is a journalist.
But what about someone reporting for a new startup with a part time staff of three? Or the lone blogger who digs deep into one particular subject?
In Oregon, a judge has decided that shield laws only apply to those who are officially part of an established media organization (again, defining what that might mean leaves us scratching our heads).
Via the Seattle Weekly:
A U.S. District Court judge in Portland has drawn a line in the sand between “journalist” and “blogger.” And for Crystal Cox, a woman on the latter end of that comparison, the distinction has cost her $2.5 million…
…Cox runs several law-centric blogs, like industrywhistleblower.com, judicialhellhole.com, and obsidianfinancesucks.com, and was sued by investment firm Obsidian Finance Group in January for defamation, to the tune of $10 million, for writing several blog posts that were highly critical of the firm and its co-founder Kevin Padrick.
Representing herself in court, Cox had argued that her writing was a mixture of facts, commentary and opinion (like a million other blogs on the web) and moved to have the case dismissed. Dismissed it wasn’t, however, and after throwing out all but one of the blog posts cited by Obsidian Financial, the judge ruled that this single post was indeed defamatory because it was presented, essentially, as more factual in tone than her other posts, and therefore a reasonable person could conclude it was factual.
The judge ruled against Cox on that post and awarded $2.5 million to the investment firm.
Now here’s where the case gets more important: Cox argued in court that the reason her post was more factual was because she had an inside source that was leaking her information. And since Oregon is one of 40 U.S. states including Washington with media shield laws, Cox refused to divulge who her source was.
But without revealing her source Cox couldn’t prove that the statements she’d made in her post were true and therefore not defamation, or attribute them to her source and transfer the liability…
…The judge in Cox’s case, however, ruled that the woman did not qualify for shield-law protection not because of anything she wrote, but because she wasn’t employed by an official media establishment.
From the opinion by U.S. District Judge Marco A. Hernandez:
… although defendant is a self-proclaimed “investigative blogger” and defines herself as “media,” the record fails to show that she is affiliated with any newspaper, magazine, periodical, book, pamphlet, news service, wire service, news or feature syndicate, broadcast station or network, or cable television system. Thus, she is not entitled to the protections of the law.
This is a pretty great list by Dan Frommer. You could apply this to just about anything related to content creation.
Judge Kermit Lipez, US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, in a ruling in favor of Simon Glik, a Massachusetts man arrested for videotaping police officers with his cell phone as they detained another man. Glik was accused of illegal wiretapping, aiding the escape of a prisoner and disturbing the peace.
China’s government attempts to clamp down on microblogging.
Julian Dibbell, May, 2000.
This cannot be real life right now.
Kansas City’s most powerful political journalist is a 36-year-old blogger who resides in a porn lair in his mother’s basement, posting rants on local government and bikini shots 24-hours-a-day .