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VT Gov to Bloggers: Piss Off!

by Rob Friesel

Via 802 Online: Governor bars bloggers from press conferences.

Cathy raises some most excellent points here, especially re:

Wait, aren’t bloggers working in print? They’re using words. You can print them out on a piece of paper. And what does this mean for journalists who are working pro bono? Does this mean that volunteer reporters from Out in the Mountains would be barred? Does this mean that unpaid student reporters are barred? It certainly means that citizen journalists from sites like iBrattleboro are barred.

…and easy way to keep out your so-called unsavory elements? I for one fear moves like this. While not all bloggers are professional (or display professionalism, for that matter), those that do are unfairly excluded. If the government decides who the press are then isn’t that a back-handed way around our speech freedoms?

I have not been anti-Douglas up to this point but maybe just maybe this will put me there…

UPDATE: Seems that no sooner do I pick up on this than info comes out that clarifies that it isn’t so much that bloggers are banned from attending as asking questions at press conferences. While this isn’t as extreme, it still raises a lot of the same issues: who “qualifies” as a journalist? what news is fit to “print”? (or censor?) As this is all new, we can’t necessarily expect folks writing these policies to have all the answers yet but it’s going to be important to find a better solution. While my inner-conservative agrees that it would be dangerous to let any old person ask questions at a press conference, removing bloggers from the equation completely silences an important new media outlet (whether you support that outlet or not).

About Rob Friesel

Software engineer by day, science fiction writer by night. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →

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