Welcome to The Blog Report

I'm so glad you stopped by and hope you find this blog an interesting read. I've been blogging since April of 2006, currently the author of six public and two private blogs. In the beginning I knew absolutely nothing about blogging. Over the years through trial and error, frustration and elation, and a few tears I've learned a lot. However, the learning process when it comes to blogging continues to evolve. Here you will find a hodge podge of my blogging experiences, useful codes and how-tos, sprinkled liberally with my opinions. Enjoy!

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Be Very Careful What You Blog About

Crystal Cox of Oregon authors several blogs. When she decided to critically blog about The Obsidian Financial Group, they sued her and an Oregon judge ruled she is not a journalist so is not protected as a journalist would be thus she was fined $2.5 million (full story here).  Essentially the court ruled she was a blogger, not a journalist so media shield laws did not apply.  What is interesting is had the case been tried in Washington, she would have been protected.  This should be a warning to all bloggers to be careful what you blog about and how you blog about it.  It pays to know what the rules are in the province or state as well as country from whence you are blogging.

I know I have been very critical in some blog posts.  My understanding that unless it was slanderous or malicious, it was your personal opinion.  Perhaps when writing a post that has the potential to get you into hot water, a disclaimer is in order but even that may not be enough as it could be viewed as an admission of guilt.  In most cases, I think the courts would be reasonable.  If it was one rant, and providing it was clear it was your own personal opinion, I doubt there would be a problem.  However, if there were a series of posts as in the case of Ms. Cox bashing the company/person then there could easily be cause for a lawsuit.

Now, just because you are sued as a blogger doesn't mean you will lose but consider the hassle of it all.  If you bash a firm for making telemarketing calls to you even though you are on the DNC list, and the facts are that firm was calling you, well they have no case.  Just be careful about what and how you blog about certain things.  If in doubt, do a bit of research before blogging about it.  Get your facts straight.  If you go with facts combined with your opinion without bashing (eg. let the reader get the point subtly), there should never be a problem.  Just realize that freedom of the press and not revealing your sources does not apply to blogging in some jurisdictions.


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