Once again, New Hampshire is showing the rest of the nation how things ought to be done. In a case related to the collapse of a mortgage firm, our state’s Supreme Court has ruled that web sites, such as blogs, have many of the same rights as the conventional media.
It’s a nice little affirmation of what I’ve always believed — that “freedom of the press” is not limited to actual, real “presses,” but to the whole concept of disseminating information. There are no actual printing presses involved in radio or television, but no one questions that they are covered by the 1st Amendment. The internet is simply the logical evolution of that process.
Likewise, it’s brought about a tremendous democratization of the media. In the old days, “freedom of the press” was limited to those who could own a press. Nowadays, anyone — even a nobody from nowhere with a nothing job and no life like me — can “own” a virtual printing press and “publish” for the entire world to see.
The courts are recognizing the new reality, and that’s a good thing. They’re a little behind the times on that, but that’s entirely normal for them.