Slater said bloggers had challenged the traditional view of a news organisation, with bloggers labelled as "parasites and plagiarists".
"Many journalists have gone out of their way to attack me," he said.
But he said views on newly arrived online media should be contrasted against the changes traditional media had undergone over the last century.
"The rules... do not say you have to be this massive corporate. It doesn't preclude other people setting up or running media organisations themselves. My website has broken numerous stories."
Among stories cited by Slater was the revelation Auckland Mayor Len Brown was having an extra-marital affair.
"I deal with informants and sources and people who want to provide confidential information on a daily basis."
The case continues.
There is much misunderstanding about what exactly freedom of the press means. In short, it means having the freedom to distribute information. It is subject to the bias of the owner of the pamphlet, newspaper, or on-line journal or sometimes the editor. Examples of such bias are widely accepted in the UK - the Daily Telegraph (Tory Press) or Guardian (Left wing Press). Not so in New Zealand where there seems to be a common misconception that the press has to be unbiased, which is just not true. A local example is the Gulf News, a doggedly hard left journal reflecting the views of its owner and those she supports. Nothing more, nothing less.
It is no surprise to me that in New Zealand the leading and most successful bloggers are mostly found on the political right. Until the advent of the internet and blogging there were few outlets for their opinions. Occasionally right wing opinion was allowed in MSM but only so the newspapers could point to them and say ‘look, we told you we presented a balanced point of view’ when in fact the media was and is overwhelmingly left of centre.
A good example of this is the Herald. As we run up to the election, they recently gave over a whole edition to green activist Lucy Lawless as ‘guest’ editor. Unsurprisingly, the paper was full of articles about her favourite green causes. By contrast there has been no right of centre ‘guest’ editor, nor I suspect will there be before the election. Instead they allow the occasional article by the likes of Rodney Hide and Bob Jones so they can point to these as proof of their lack of bias. However, an occasional article is not quite the same as being able to fill a whole edition with ones biased political point of view.
Blogging is altogether more honest. It is journalism good, bad and indifferent. It unashamedly reflects the opinions of the blogger. As Slater points out once people have an outlet they can trust with information they are willing to do so, especially on the political right shunned by MSM. They are prepared to talk to bloggers because they know they will have a voice at last. I find this on the island. There is deep frustration with the onesidedness of local media so my blog has a ready audience.
The role of the blogger is the same as journalist, as such the blogger should be allowed the same protection under the law. As ever the law is slow to react to the speed of change. But react it must in defence of freedom of speech.