John Robson and Kathy Shaidle on licensing journalists in Quebec

by 1389 on August 27, 2011

in 1389 (blog admin), Blazing Cat Fur, blog censorship, blogging, Canada, censorship, privacy

Robson & Shaidle on regulating journalists

(h/t: Blazing Cat Fur)

Uploaded by sdamatt2 on Aug 26, 2011

A licensing system for journalists being discussed in Quebec is a form of press regulation that would put limits on the free flow of information.

The licensing system would create a “professional journalist” designation, backed by Quebec law, that could provide for preferential access to government sources and extra rights to protection of sources.

That may sound seductive to some journalists. Exclusivity, bargaining power, prestige and money may be seen as side benefits to a professional licensing system administered by a body of journalists. But the damage to press freedom, and therefore to individual journalists, card-carrying or otherwise, would be considerable.

How? Controlling access to sources or to news conferences would by definition mute or limit some voices. Who might be shut down? Those who cannot afford professional schools, if that is what is required for a designation. Or those who find, whether at 14 or 94, that they have something to say, in a newspaper or on Facebook or in forms not yet invented. The group of people excluded would be massive.

And the free flow of information would be subject to state control. Government advertising would be restricted (under one proposal) to those news organizations that meet accepted proportions of “professional” journalists. News organizations that don’t could be destroyed — including Internet start-ups that could one day become as large and powerful as the Huffington Post.

A proposal to make French-language proficiency a requirement of journalists could shut down voices in minority-language media. The proposal shows that political imperatives other than journalistic ones could be imposed on a licensing system.

What is a journalist? It helps to be able to read and write — but a camera may be enough. What really matters is zeal for the story, within the boundaries set by laws of defamation, privacy and so on. At the very moment that a multiplicity of talents and voices, emerging thanks to new technologies, has helped to topple dictators in the Middle East, Quebec is rejecting the marketplace — of ideas, talents, desires, money and ingenuity — and trying to replace it with state-approved controls.

Our own thoughts:

According to Google Translate, “Bite me!” in French is “Mords-moi!”

CzechRebel says that Blazing Cat Fur is a perfectly good name for a blog. I think that the name goes well with Kathy’s blog, Five Feet of Fury. Both names are eye-catching and easy to remember!

Kathy Shaidle suggests that most of the obnoxious language and ad hominem attacks would go away without the anonymity. I haven’t found that to be the case; some infamously abusive bloggers do use their real names, and, sadly, not all of them are left-wing or pro-jihadi bloggers.

Some of us on 1389 Blog use our real names; others do not. Some of us require privacy for reasons of personal safety. In many parts of the world, if you openly take a hard line against Islam and you use your real name, or if you defend the Serbs, the government may come after you. In the US, you may be investigated by the government, but you usually won’t be arrested; however, the economy and the regulatory climate with respect to “diversity” is such that prospective employers will find your name on Google as an activist, and you will never be hired. At least four counterjihad and/or pro-Serb bloggers that I know of have had to shut down their blogs because of stalkers, threats, cyber attacks, and “SLAPP” lawsuits. I would like to have the luxury of blogging under my own name, but as long as most governments seem to be in business to protect enemy aliens and other wrongdoers at the expense of law-abiding citizens, that won’t happen for the foreseeable future.

Much more at Vlad Tepes Blog

Yes, we must keep on fighting for freedom of the press!

These days, the press includes the blogosphere. Only the tools are different, not the substance. Amateur bloggers are the ones who are serving the public. I put in upwards of 40 hours per week gathering information and blogging, NOT counting what my fellow blog team members are doing. I do this in my “off hours” when I’m not at work or at church. NONE of us get paid! WE are the ones serving the public. Some other bloggers put in even more.

The “professional journalists” are, for the most part, the paid hacks, the presstitutes, the panderers to the liberal elite. They already GET preferential treatment, and, by and large, they do not deserve it!

Also see:

Blazing Cat Fur: Specific plan for government control of Internet

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