It’s a tough question, but a district court judge reckons not.
Whaleoil is a blog site. It is not a news medium within the definition of s 68(sub-section 5) of the Evidence Act. It is not a means for the dissemination to the public or a section of the public of news and observation on news.
This will surprise many people. Slater has broken a number of news stories, and if his highly opinionated commentaries on politics and current affairs don’t count as “observation on news”, then what exactly are they?
But let’s accept for a moment that the Evidence Act doesn’t really provide a satisfactory test to determine who’s a journalist and who’s just a wannabe. As it happens I have a far better test. It goes like this:
A journalist has to be someone I like or respect. I neither like nor respect Cameron Slater. Therefore Cameron Slater is no journalist.
This test is foolproof—so long as I’m always sitting in the judge’s chair.