Too Much Media, LLC v. Hale, No. L2736-08 (N.J. Super. 2008).

UPDATE (6/8/2011)

STATUS: Decided on June 7, 2011

N.J.: New Jersey Supreme Court holds that Online posters don’t have same source protections as mainstream journalists

The Associated Press
The New Jersey Supreme Court says people posting opinions online don’t have the same protections for sources as mainstream journalists. The court ruled Tuesday that New Jersey’s shield law for journalists does not apply to online message boards.

--Decision: Too Much Media Hale, LLC v. Hale

UPDATE (4/22/2010)

Too Much Media, LLC v. Hale, No. L2736-08 (N.J. Super. 2008).
Status: Appeal of ruling on application of reporters' shield law pending

Software company Too Much Media sued blogger Shellee Hale for defamation over postings on the Oprano blog ( regarding alleged security flaws in the software the company makes for pornographic web sites. Hale said that her information came from confidential sources who she refused to name, citing New Jersey's reporters' shield law statute.

The trial court held an hearing on applicability of the statue, and ruled on June 30, 2009 that Hale was not protected by New Jersey's newsperson's privilege statute, and had to reveal the sources. In September the court denied a motion to reconsider its ruling, and in March a panel of appellate judges heard her appeal. On April 22, the Appellate Division confirmed, noting that "the fact of presenting information on a new, different medium, even if capable of reaching a wider audience more readily, does not make it 'news,' for purposes of qualifying for the newsperson's privilege. Simply put, new media should not be confused with news media."

Links and Case Documents:
June 30, 2009 Decision:
N.J. appeals court hears arguments over whether blogger is protected by shield laws,, Mar. 2, 2010
Apr. 22, 2010 Decision:

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