The Supreme Judicial Court in Massachuisetts issued a ruling this week that will expand the definition of journalist to include bloggers when it comes to covering trials and other court proceedings.

Like many states, Massachusetts grants special privileges to journalists covering trials, including being allowed to bring laptops and smartphones into courtrooms to take notes as they cover proceedings. The new rules take effect July 1 and expand the definition of news media to cover "organizations that regularly gather, prepare, photograph, record, write, edit, report or publish news or information about matters of public interest for dissemination to the public in any medium, whether print or electronic, and to individuals who regularly perform a similar function."

Some Massachusetts bloggers served on the subcommittee which helped pass the new rules, including Adam Gaffin, who runs the popular Boston news blog Universal Hub.

Gaffin posted the ruling and press release announcing the ruling on his Web site.

Judges still have final say on who enters their courtrooms, and the rules still preserve bans on recording devices and limits on the number of cameras allowed in a courtroom. But the new rules do allow bloggers to participate in the media photo pool system, in which photographers who arrive at court agree on which photographer will cover the proceedings and agree to share his or her work with other outlets.