NJ court: No shield law for message boards posters

AP News
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Posted: Jun 07, 2011 10:48 AM
NJ court: No shield law for message boards posters

The New Jersey Supreme Court says people posting in online message boards 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 such message boards.

The case involved a New Jersey-based software company named Too Much Media. It sued a Washington state blogger for defamation and wanted her to reveal sources she cited on message board posts.

Shellee Hale claimed customer information was compromised and that she should be protected from revealing her sources.

New Jersey's highest court says online message boards are little more than forums for discussion and don't fit the definition of news media as described by the law.