Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Are bloggers journalists? The government says "yes"

We're starting out a little late and a little light today. Both of us are busily working on our new column, so rather than a lot of blogging throughout the day, like we normally do on Thursdays, we'll keep it light today. Our first noteworthy news item of the day comes from ABC News' The Blotter, and this is likely to have more than one MSMer clicking their tongue today:

Are bloggers part of the news media? The U.S. government -- led by two of its most secretive agencies -- is increasingly saying, "Yes, they are."

Despite the rap that bloggers simply "bloviate" and "don't try to find things out," as conservative newspaper columnist Robert Novak once sniffed, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA) have altered policies to indicate they're taking blogs seriously, and a growing number of public offices are actively reaching out to the blogosphere.

The CIA recently updated its policies on Freedom of Information Act requests to allow bloggers to qualify for special treatment once reserved for old-school reporters. And last August, the NSA issued a directive to its employees to report leaks of classified information to the media -- "including blogs," the order said.

Experts say it's part of a trend. Earlier this year, the criminal trial of former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was the first time a federal court had issued press credentials to bloggers. A rotating pool of five to 10 bloggers sat alongside dozens of traditional media reporters to hear the government try and convict one-time aide to Vice President Dick Cheney on perjury and obstruction of justice charges stemming from the leak of an undercover CIA operative's identity.

It only makes sense for the government to recognize this. While some people still think that all bloggers are good for is stirring up trouble, others are taking this medium, and the people behind it, very seriously. We have broken a number of stories that the MSM simply refused to cover. We do what the media refuses to do when it comes to fact-checking, and while we're not perfect, we do have a better record than MSM outlets.

What is interesting about this particular story is, of course, the fact that our intel agencies are recognizing us. This might be happening on the heels of the yeoman's work of Michael Yon, Bill Roggio, and Michael Totten as they report on the surge in Iraq. These guys are going out with the troops. They're abiding by the military's rules governing disclosure of information. And by comparison to the MSM, they're doing a vastly superior job than the media is.

Publius II


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