Meditating on media

June 1, 2006

Apple suit secures blogger rights

Filed under: First Amendment issues,New media — Brea Jones @ 8:32 am

After a blogger published information about a new Apple product, Apple sued to get the source of the leak. But last week, a California appellate court decided bloggers who do not work for a news organization are newsgatherers, and therefore are protected by the state shield law from being forced to reveal confidential sources.

This must be a relief for California bloggers, because now anyone who is gathering and disseminating news can protect confidential sources. The San Jose Mercury News editorial argues this decision also helps print journalists by strengthening the ability of newspapers to print trade secrets.

I feel a bit torn because while I love Apple products (I recently upgraded from my iPod mini to the 30gig video iPod), I love the First Amendment more. Sorry Apple.


March 26, 2006

Orion blogs on a roll

Filed under: College press — Brea Jones @ 10:37 am

I haven't blogged much this week because I've been spending my time setting up The Orion Blog. When Chico State's women's basketball team made the Division II Elite Eight this season, an Orion reporter and photographer went on a journey to Arkansas to cover it. I knew we had to get the blog up and running for them, and their blog has been pretty entertaining.

They have also been producing lots of online exclusive stories, so we created a special section for them. It's been a lot of work, but I'm a bit sad that our hard-working travelers are on their way home today. It's been fun having so much going online lately. It's also sad Chico State lost in the Final Four.

March 15, 2006

2 laws proposed to protect California college journalists

Filed under: College press,First Amendment issues — Brea Jones @ 10:58 am

One of my favorite Web haunts is the Student Press Law Center site, and I am pleased to share a news flash with promising legislative news for California college newspapers.

One proposed bill would make it a crime to take more than five free newspapers to get recycling money or to deprive others of the ability to read the newspaper. The latter is the biggest concern for many college newspapers. If a newspaper is free, all someone has to do is take all of the newspapers to censor the content of the paper.

When I first learned of this problem at the 2005 Associated Collegiate Press convention in San Francisco, I convinced the managing editor and art director to add a price to the flag of The Orion: “First copy free, additional copies 50 cents.” This would entitle The Orion to about $3,500 in damages if every copy is stolen. But if AB 2612 is passed, any free newspaper thief could also face misdemeanor charges.

The second bill is especially important. If AB 2581 passes, it will include student publications in the Leonard Law, which protects free expression rights for public university students in California. The law says students cannot be punished for expression that would be protected by the First Amendment off campus.
The California Newspaper Publishers Association sponsored the bills. Read its Legislative Bulletin for more.

Blogs key to newspapers’ future

Filed under: New media,Trends — Brea Jones @ 9:47 am

The past few weeks, I’ve been working on creating blogs for The Orion Online, Chico State’s student newspaper Web site. This has been slow work only because midterms and daily updates have kept me busy, so I haven’t created 55 accounts on our Word Press blog for all of the Orioners dying to blog.

For the time being, I’ll share my interest in new media and journalism with this blog.

On Romenesko’s Poynter blog, I read “Seeders of Clouds: Latest on Newspaper Blogging,” which is long but interesting. Blogs are essential and create a public forum like no other, so those Orion reporters who are in doubt, read and enjoy!

Blog at