Federal judge rules that blogger is not a journalist

A blogger was sued by a lawyer in Oregon for defamation, and the judge rules that the blogger, Crystal L. Cox, is not a journalist and thus is not protected by shield laws. The judges justifications for his ruling don’t make sense to this journalist:

Hernandez said Cox was not a journalist because she offered no professional qualifications as a journalist or legitimate news outlet. She had no journalism education, credentials or affiliation with a recognized news outlet, proof of adhering to journalistic standards such as editing or checking her facts, evidence she produced an independent product or evidence she ever tried to get both sides of the story.

Many journalists at mainstream media outlets don’t have journalism degrees. There are no professional qualifications to be a journalist either, nor do you need credentials to practice as a journalist. Being a journalist is not like being a doctor or a lawyer; it’s much more nebulous than that.

How do we define a journalist in the world of online media and blogs?

Source: Associated Press.