ht crystal cox jp 111208 wblog Blogger Crystal Cox is No Journalist, Must Pay $2.5M in Damages, Says Judge

Blogger Crystal Cox (Courtesy of

This past week, a blogger by the name Crystal Cox, was order to pay $2.5 million in a case in Oregon. She was being sued for defamation.

According to an ABC blog, Kevin Padrick, an attorney sued Cox,a Montana native, for defamation after she blogged strong accusations at  about him, accusing him and his company  acted unethically and illegally as a trustee in a federal bankruptcy proceeding.

According to the ABC blog, “U.S. District Judge Marco Hernandez said Padrick was not a public figure and the bankruptcy case was not in the public interest, two criteria which raise the burden of proof in a defamation suit.”

It was in the judge’s opinion that Cox, who refers to herself an “investigative blogger,” does not qualify to be a journalist.

Cox had also created websites devoted to defaming the group online. Some examples of websites she created include “,” “,” and “,” all created with the goal of ruining Obsidian’s reputation.

This does bring up some interesting questions: Can just anyone be a journalist? Does the rise of citizen journalism and blogs just provide an ersatz replacement for professional journalism and columnists? I sure hope not for both.