A South Carolina US District Court Judge threw out a defamation lawsuit filed against a blogger who “published articles on the internet critical of the Plaintiffs’ business.” Here is the key section of this 16-page ruling:
[In] determining whether Smith was engaged in news reporting or in news commentating, the court has applied the functional analysis … which examines the content of the material, not the format, to determine whether it is journalism… Upon review of the content of the article, the court finds that Smith’s use of the BidZirk mark in the article was in the context of news reporting or news commentary… Smith’s article evidences his intent to report what he believed was a newsworthy story for consumers.
It's important to understand the "functional analysis" part of this case. It's the first time that such has been applied (and created specifically for this case). It will now be used for future BLOG VS BIG BUSINESS cases.