NJ Law Journal Reports:
The state Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday on whether a blogger, being sued for defamation over her postings on a Web bulletin board, can cloak herself in the New Jersey Shield Law and refuse to disclose a source. The justices are being asked whether the Legislature, in the relevant portion of the Shield Law, N.J.S.A. 2A:84A-21a(b), was meant to protect a class of writers that did not exist when it was enacted in 1977: those who post their writings on their own websites and on other online media. In Too Much Media v. Hale, A-7-10, a trial judge and the Appellate Division have said no, finding the privilege inapplicable to online posters not engaged in gathering or disseminating news. They found that although Shellee Hale, of Washington State, runs a Web site reporting on technical and criminal activity in the adult entertainment industry, she was not acting in that capacity when she posted statements on another site that were critical of Too Much Media, a Freehold software company.