Courts: a journalist is anyone who does journalism

I saw this on blogrunner and thought it relates to the Public Relations community debate on social software. Excerpt regarding the courts’ view of bloggers versus reporters. (note: emphasis added by me)

No US court has yet weighed in with authority on the debate about
whether bloggers count as journalists, but the recent federal decision
from South Carolina does indicate that at least some
bloggers are journalists. It’s not about the title, it’s about the
said Judge Henry Hurlong, Jr.; a journalist turns out to be
anyone who does journalism
, and bloggers who do so have the same rights
and privileges under federal law as the "real" journalists.

Unlike pornography which is much harder to define, "a journalist is some who does journalism". Interesting. And, well, there it is.

Club Rights Extended to Visitors; the Open Social Dilemma

  American Kennel Club Hounds 
  Originally uploaded by eschipul

I woke up around 3:30 AM today thinking about three concepts.

  1. Club Rights and their extension to visitors. More on this below.
  2. Familiar Stranger concept (Milgram) and;
  3. Open Social and it’s implications on concepts 1 and 2 in social software.

By the extension of club rights to visitors I am referring to our
tendency to "take into the fold" a stranger based on certain criteria.
So a police officer from Detroit will be given a pat on the back and
treated as "one of our own" when visiting a police officer’s pub in New
York. "Club rights" have been extended to the visitor because of her
status as a police officer.

Goffman on club rights

It is interesting to note that when teammates come into
contact with a stranger who is their colleague, a sort of ceremonial or
honorific team membership may be temporarily accorded the newcomer.
This is a visiting-fireman complex whereby teammates treat their
visitors as if he had suddently come into very intimate and
long-standing relationships with them. Whatever their associational
prerogatives, he tends to be given club rights. – The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Erving Goffman, pg 162

So we "take care of our own" even if they are strangers.

The second concept has been talked about more frequently and it is the Familiar Stranger.
We all have experienced this. The person you see in building year after
year but never talk to. Yet when you stumble into them on the metro in
Paris you are like "wow! How are you! What a coincidence! My name is
Bob. Do you want to travel together?" – so suddenly this stranger is
your best friend given the foreign location. We, as humans, are quite
odd actually. OK, back to the subject.


With both club rights and the familiar stranger time is the
un-talked-about variable. We extend club rights to the visiting fireman
if he is VISITING. If he moves to our town and takes a job as a gym
manager, well, he is out of the club. Extension of club rights is
temporary. If he wants to live here he must join the club.

More after the jump.

Continue reading “Club Rights Extended to Visitors; the Open Social Dilemma”