Monday, May 31, 2010

An update on "licensing journalists could happen in..."

It turns out the author of the bill doesn't think his legislation has any chance of passing. So why did he do it? The Toledo Blade has the answer.

Sen. Bruce Patterson did say something that will generate conversation (or at least it ought to), and this quote is taken from the same Toledo Blade article referenced above:

"There are fewer legitimate reporters who cover the legislature all the time. I see stuff being written by people I never heard of, and I don't know whether they have any credentials.

"You have bloggers and editorial writers who write about what we are doing who never come up here and have no idea what's going on. If I need a plumber, I want one who has credentials and who is licensed by the state."

I take a bit of offense with Sen. Patterson's use of the word "legitimate" but he is certainly spot on in suggesting fewer reporters are covering state government. But to make the leap that there is a legitimate leap to be made to licensing journalists remains a specious one.

Moreover, his bill really worries me because of the reference to the "moral character" of journalists being a necessary requirement for receiving a license.

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