Corporations triumph over on-line journalism

Yesterday's court ruling in which companies can force on-line journalists to reveal sources could have a dramatic impact on the world of on-line news.

Consider the ramifications, the ruling states that a company (such as Apple or Microsoft or whomever) can demand that a website that has broken a story about something that was confidential (or under NDA) has to reveal its sources to that company.

This is something that print journalists don't have to worry about. Two years ago, when someone leaked that the wife of a white house critic was working for the CIA, the Washington Post journalist was not required to present who his source was. In other words, even when it potentially affected national security, journalists weren't forced to reveal sources.

However, on-line news sources, such as Neowin, could face having to reveal its sources to any corporate entity that deems the information on the site to be confidential.

This ruling, if it stands, could give immense weight to corporations who want to control what information is provided from news sites.

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