We do not find that online message boards are similar to the types of news entities listed in the statute, and do not believe that the Legislature intended to provide an absolute privilege in defamation cases to people who post comments on message boards.But I don't think that's what anyone was trying to claim. This isn't about the venue, but about the action. Journalism is not a venue, it's a process. If the information was acquired in the course of journalism, it shouldn't matter where it was published. Yet all three courts seemed to miss this key point and focus mainly on the venue issue. So, even if you're doing journalism, but publish it somewhere the judges don't like, suddenly, you're not doing journalism. This is quite strange and I don't buy the court's explanation here. They even note that the law itself is written broadly to protect "all significant news-gathering activities." And yet it still says that venue of publication is a key factor in determining what is journalism. This is an outdated and, frankly, troubling view of journalism. The court even goes on a bit of a screed about "unfiltered, unedited" forums as being this anarchy of the internet that does not resemble journalism.
They could counter-claim if the MBTA keeps up its suit or file on their own if it is dismissed.
Sure is it just cash damages (including attorneys fess) but it is recourse
"Engineering meets art in the parking lot and things explode." -- Garry Peterson, about Survival Research Labs