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Law bloggers challenge role of traditional journalists

Danny Glover of the National Journal picked up that law bloggers may be challenging the role of traditional journalists.

Joan Biskupic, who won a coveted award for her coverage of the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court confirmation hearings and now covers the court for USA Today, spoke at a judicial conference this week about the role of journalists in covering the Supreme Court.

But Glover reports University of Law Professor and blogger extraordinaire, Ann Althouse, hearing Biskupic’s the speech, argued effectively in a blog post afterward that same-day analysis of Supreme Court decisions by bloggers is challenging the role of traditional journalists like Biskupic.

As Biskupic said, there are very few regular reporters on the Supreme Court beat. These reporters cover all the cases, but law bloggers write about what they choose. Some of us stick to specialized areas of law. Some of us write extensively when the case deserves it and say nothing about other cases. Why is it better to have the same generalist writing about all the cases and providing a steady stream of articles of the same length and depth?

Althouse is spot on. We’ve got a fast-growing network of blogs published by leading lawyers throughout United States and Canada. Such lawyers are acting as citizen journalists covering niche areas of the law for which the lawyers have unique expertise and which areas of law have not been covered by journalists in the main stream or trade media.

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