(5) JOURNALISM- The term ‘journalism’ means the regular gathering, preparing, collecting, photographing, recording, writing, editing, reporting, or publishing of news or information that concerns local, national, or international events or other matters of public interest for dissemination to the public [S. 448, Free Flow of Information Act, Section 8, Clause 5, as published on OpenCongress.org, 2009.11.01].
Gathering, preparing, collecting, photographing, recording, writing, editing, reporting, publishing... yeah, we bloggers do all that.
Over four years of blogging, my own understanding of what blogging is and isn't has changed significantly. I once thought, as Mr. Epp did, that we needed to keep some daylight between blogger and journalist. But interacting with other citizen journalists, thinking about Paul Harvey, and banging out articles at a rate of over a thousand a year (this is #2982 on the Madville Times) has made me comfortable with accepting the label journalist. The United States Senate appears to be moving in that same direction.
p.s.: Mr. Gebhart does the best epigraphs. Here's the quote with which he punctuates his post on S.448:
And it occurred to me that there is no such thing as blogging. There is no such thing as a blogger. Blogging is just writing — writing using a particularly efficient type of publishing technology.
—Simon Dumenco, “A Blogger is Just a Writer with
a Cooler Name” [discussed at WordMunger]
Update 2009.11.03 09:21 CST: Mr. Gebhart forwards to me an article from the Citizens Media Law Project, which gets the new language defining who's covered under the amended Senate bill. They "applaud this renewed focus on the function carried out by the individual in question, rather than occupational status." CMLP links to Zachary M. Seward at the Nieman Journalism Lab, who points out that the House version still shields only reporters who produce journalism "for a substantial portion of the person’s livelihood or for substantial financial gain."