NH Court Rules Mortgage Watchdog Site is a News Organization

In a move that may further help define what it means to do news online, the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a Las Vegas-based Web site which watchdogs the mortgage industry is a news organization and is subject to at least some of the same protections as traditional news sources.

In 2008, the site, The Mortgage Lender Implode-o-Meter posted a confidential financial document concerning a particular mortgage company. An anonymous reader subsequently posted a comment to the story, accusing the company of fraud, according to the Associated Press. The company sued. A New Hampshire Superior Court ordered the site to take the document down.

On Thursday, the New Hampshire Supreme Court reversed the ruling, and said the site should not have been required to remove the document or reveal its sources. “The fact that Implode operates a website makes it no less a member of the press,” the court said.