Forget waiting for some federal shield law to be passed: the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has determined in two separate rulings yesterday, that blogs are, in fact, media, as reported by TechCrunch.
Oh, if only Marketing Pilgrim had a category called, “Duh.” Do these decisions change anything? As I see it, all they is codify the status of blogs as “media.” Or should I say, the status of a blog as a medium. A blog has always been a medium—a way that political candidates and interested parties can communicate with the public at large.
Realistically speaking, the Federal Electoral Commission’s decisions really only affect (1) bloggers who offer free advertising to candidates and (2) people blogging about campaigns (including blogs devoted to deposing incumbents). And if you fall into one of those limited groups, you’ll be happy to note that you’re now part of the media in the eyes of the FEC. And what does that mean? It means you don’t have to register as a “political committee” for doing the aforementioned.
On the other hand, it’s also a good sign that people so glaringly out of touch with modern culture to think that these rulings are necessary decided in favor of including blogs in the category. After all, they didn’t officially consider the Internet a medium until March 2006.
In the United States, the Federal Election Commission is a regulatory agency in charge of monitoring electoral practices, campaign finance and media activity. While these specific rulings do hold the force of law, it’s unlikely that all blogs will be considered “media” quite yet.