I saw the news in an article at La Stampa, which positions this as a dilemma worthy of Hamlet's question: to protect or not to protect citizen-journalists. Senators Rich Boucher (D-VA) and Mike Pence (R-IN) presented the proposed addition to the bill and yesterday it cleared the House Judiciary Committee. The addition would protect bloggers on one condition.
You may recall that in 2005, Apple sued three bloggers in an attempt to make them reveal their sources used to disclose information about a new product the company was working on. A Californian Judge threw the suit out after a long legal battle. The sentiment from the blogging community at the time was that trying to classify journalism and putting it into a specific box was a bad idea.
It seems that current events are catching up with the dilemma. As more and more professionals choose to have their own blog -- many written and maintained in a manner that might make them indistinguishable from regular news media outlets -- it is easy to see how breaking news can indeed become the domain of many voices.
The Free Flow of Information Act was introduced to protect freedom of speech and journalistic sources generally, but does include several exceptions regarding terrorism, national security, imminent death, and trade secret leaks. In response to concerns that the initial version of the bill would apply to everyone capable of doing a casual blog , Rep. Rick Boucher narrowed the definition of a "journalist."
There's a condition. It seems that you will need to demonstrate you earn an income from your blog to qualify -- Google Ads may be fine, for example. Make money or be forced to reveal your sources. What do you think? Should we have to sell our services to be considered "journalists"? How much do we need to make? Pennies to put in our two cents?