Authors of blogs out number print journalists 183 to one. This new media environment has changed the landscape of journalism and how information is shared. Despite this change in media, the courts have not updated defamation laws to encompass authors of online publications like blogs. The courts do not unanimously agree that bloggers should be treated as journalists and are eligible defendants in defamation lawsuits. This mock trial case tests the application of a three-pronged test that could be applied to blogger defendants to determine if they are eligible defendants. This test requires the court to evaluate the spread of the information posted by the blogger, if the author of the blog is seen as an authority on the information posted, and if the author of the blog profits from the spread of the information. If the author of the blog meets all of these prongs, they are eligible defamation defendants. The application of this proposed test in a mock trial case will provide the insight into whether or not juries see the test as limiting free speech or an appropriate update to defamation laws.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 12-8-2016


Kristeena L. Johnson

Mentor Professional Affiliation

University Programs

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level




Department Name when Degree Awarded

Government and Economics