Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Bloggers Now Eligible For Press Passes In NYC

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the what-hath-god-wrought dept.

The Media 95

RobotRunAmok writes "The New York City Police Department announced Tuesday that bloggers and others who publish on the Web will now be eligible for press credentials. The move comes as a result of a lawsuit filed in 2008 by three Web journalists who were denied press passes. In New York, journalists with press passes are typically allowed to cross police barricades at public events. 'Events that will qualify include city-sponsored activity — like a press conference or parade — as well as emergencies where the city has set up do-not-cross lines. The proposal also allows inexperienced journalists to obtain single-use press passes. Longtime civil rights lawyer Norman Siegel, who represented the journalists who sued, says the city will now decide who a journalist is by looking at the type of work they do, and not the organization they write for.'"

cancel ×

95 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Which (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31347690)

... has made the press pass obsolete.

Rob Malda's baby dick (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31347804)

Rob Malda's dick is tinier than a baby's. He makes newborns look like Mandingo.

Re:Rob Malda's baby dick (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31349186)

Mandingo is a limp dick fag, he has to his dick shot up with cocaine and several young gay men to fluff him before a performance, and again every few minutes during one.

I have a pass (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31347708)

for a first post!

great, thanks a lot (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31347718)

as a photographer who makes part of my income with press/arts photography, im not looking forward to this. It just means more morons crowding events and creating problems for the rest of us. Yeah, im real happy you write/shoot for some blog with 5 people who read it.

Re:great, thanks a lot (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31347744)

Yeah... I think the press pass should be limited to people who:

1. Have covered such events in the past.
2. Have a measurable audience somehow... be it web, print, TV, radio, etc.
3. Haven't caused problems at previous events.

Re:great, thanks a lot (5, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31347760)

1. Have covered such events in the past.
2. Have a measurable audience somehow... be it web, print, TV, radio, etc.

Ah, the age old question..
How can I get a job without experience?
And how can I get experience without a job?

Re:great, thanks a lot (3, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31347808)

Let's add an apprenticeship rule... let people who have a press pass bring in an intern/trainee so they can learn the job. Either that, or have people write about police events without the pass, and then one day when they walk up to the line hand them their pass.

Re:great, thanks a lot (4, Informative)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31347916)

Ah so lets limit it to an elite and their friends.

Not friends with the right person?
Not born into the right family?

Sucks to be you!

Re:great, thanks a lot (2, Insightful)

Dumnezeu (1673634) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348396)

Yeah, but after a while, you gain enough experience to be on your own. It also ensures that you have someone to mentor you about the obligations and rights of journalists in the real world (not just on paper).

Re:great, thanks a lot (-1, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348860)

Welcome to reality there bud.

The alternative is to ... set no barrier to entry so Journalism turns into ... Windows. Blogs are to Journalism what VB is to development. Both just let people who really have no qualifications or abilities write trash and pawn it off as though it were something useful and not full of holes.

Re:great, thanks a lot (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31349200)

You say it like that scenario is a bad thing.

I'll take a world with a million script kiddies and 10,000 top class coders over a world with no script kiddies and only 1000 top class coders.

Ah, the good old days (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31349308)

I think you may be reminiscing about the good old days when journalism was actually a respectable profession there, pops. Journalism has devolved into corporate press releases and edutainment over the last quarter century. But that's actually beside the point.

This is about freedom of expression. Journalists should not be a special class of people who receive special privileges. Journalism isn't engineering or programming, it is fairly simple. There is no reason to limit journalism to professionals, because unprofessional journalists can't really cause any more harm to society than professionals, unlike most other professions, and unlike all regulated professions. Unlike a VB program, most everyone can read an article and decide for themselves whether it is full of holes or trash.

So, press passes should be available to anyone who wants them. If you screw up, you get your pass taken away. It's that simple. No need for false elitism. Seriously, I challenge anyone to a.) list the privileges having a press pass gives you, and b.) explain why those privileges are so dangerous they should be limited to professional journalists, and for extra credit, c.) show why journalists themselves deserve those privileges and how they won't be a danger in the hands of professionals.

I am of the opinion that things should only be limited or regulated for good cause. There are lots of good causes to limit or regulate a good many things, but not journalism.

Re:Ah, the good old days (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 4 years ago | (#31349572)

There is still good journalism out there. You can't measure a profession by the lowest level material produced. And having a big company willing to vouch for you is a good sign to traditionally conservative event promoters: they're not required to let anyone in on press credentials. As far as government stuff goes, if the meeting isn't open to journalists, it's not open to the public either, and vice versa.

They don't receive special credentials because they got a degree, they receive special credentials because they represent an influential organization. If you let in the guy who works for the New York Times for free, you may get a write up that will be viewed by multiple millions of people. It's a business decision. If you only represent yourself, buy a ticket. Likewise if you represent a big, influential blog, you can probably get press credentials.

There also seems to be some belief that press credentials are given to journalists without them having to ask. This may be the case with established clubs/venues/promoters, whatever, but more often than not, the journalist has to call and ask for them. Nothing stopping a blogger from calling and asking, and there is no law that says that anyone is entitled to press credentials.

Re:Ah, the good old days (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31349636)

The law still does not entitle anyone to press credentials. You have to act like a journalist, the only change is that you don't have to be working for a big company. And the city can not mandate that anyone but the city honor those press credentials. So, what has really changed? It's slightly easier to break into the field of journalism. That is all.

Re:Ah, the good old days (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 4 years ago | (#31349916)

Agreed. "Press Credentials" sounds like you get something for nothing, but I remember having to practically blow people to get a press pass. It's never a guarantee, and the only reason it has this sort of cache in NYC is because they have so many people that they've had to make a rule to keep things under control.

Anyway, breaking into the field is easy, you just have to be willing to start at the bottom.

Re:great, thanks a lot (2, Insightful)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351700)

Journalists write the most atrocious crap of all. Bloggers are often far more professional.

Why, because the Journalist is trying to sell a storey so they will write about things with zero qualifications or experience.

The blogger on the other hand is writing about their area of passion and has nothing to sell, Often the blogger will have experience and expertise in what they are doing, the same is not true for journalists.

Re:great, thanks a lot (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 4 years ago | (#31349434)

Yea, the elite...I work with journalists every day and the word "elite" doesn't apply to any of them except the moronic "folksy" guy, and then only in his own mind.

I don't think there is anything wrong with allowing an established journalist to say, "Don't worry about this guy, he's with me." 90% of the ones I know would say that for a pint of beer, and it's not like they're hard to find (hint: pick up the dead tree product, and look at the names at the top of all the printy words).

It's a hell of a lot better than just throwing every event open to every schmuck with a blogspot account, or on the other hand, requiring a government-sponsored vetting process to figure out if you're relevant enough to merit a press pass.

Re:great, thanks a lot (1)

Gaffod (939100) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376144)

Heaven forbid you actually have to go out there and make friends or network.

Re:great, thanks a lot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31351374)

...Sigh...

Community College journalism?

Re:great, thanks a lot (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351392)

How do you prove how many readers you actually have?

Re:great, thanks a lot (3, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31347870)

Yeah... I think the press pass should be limited to people who:

1. Have covered such events in the past.
2. Have a measurable audience somehow... be it web, print, TV, radio, etc.
3. Haven't caused problems at previous events.

1. So, in order to cover such an event, you must have a Press Pass, and in order to get a Press Pass, you must have covered such an event.

2. In order to have an audience, you must get the news. In order to get the news, you've got to have an audience.

3. In order to get a Press Pass, you have to have covered such an event without one. Which pretty much means going past police barricades or some similar illegal activity. So, pretty much be definition, you'll have misbehaved at a previous event.

In summary, your requirements reduce to:

1. No-one will be issued Press Passes.

Re:great, thanks a lot (2, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31347962)

actually it's

"No-one will be issued Press Passes except the people like me who have already been issued press passes"

Re:great, thanks a lot (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31347970)

Yeah... I think the press pass should be limited to people who:

1. Have covered such events in the past.

2. Have a measurable audience somehow... be it web, print, TV, radio, etc.

3. Haven't caused problems at previous events.

1. So, in order to cover such an event, you must have a Press Pass, and in order to get a Press Pass, you must have covered such an event.

2. In order to have an audience, you must get the news. In order to get the news, you've got to have an audience.

3. In order to get a Press Pass, you have to have covered such an event without one. Which pretty much means going past police barricades or some similar illegal activity. So, pretty much be definition, you'll have misbehaved at a previous event.

In summary, your requirements reduce to:

1. No-one will be issued Press Passes.

if you RTFA before issuing your screed, it states that inexperienced bloggers or other journalists can apply for a 1 day pass to cover events.

Re:great, thanks a lot (0, Flamebait)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31349362)

If you engage your brain before posting, you will see that this post is a rebuttal to an argument for restricting press passes to those who have already worked in the field, i.e. to working journalists, that is to say, the policy we had before the change. Meaning, the 1 day pass rule would not apply.

Get it? This wasn't a reply to the article, it was a reply to an argument against the changed policy. Meaning, your post was an absolute non sequiter, a waste of time.

Re:great, thanks a lot (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348574)

3. Haven't caused problems at previous events.

Actually just 3 might be a reasonable rule.

That is covered in the new policy (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31349412)

Rule three sounds like it is covered by the new policy. The policy is not, 'anyone can get a press pass.' It is, 'Anyone can apply for a press pass, and if it looks anything like they have been practicing journalism, even on a blog no one reads, they will get it.' Someone with a history of disruption likely would not receive a pass in the first place, and someone who ceases to act like a journalist could have it revoked.

The main change is that you don't have to be paid, or working for a big news outlet, to get a press pass. You just have to act like a journalist.

Re:great, thanks a lot (0, Troll)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348892)

I'm sorry, you're special because....?

Re:great, thanks a lot (2, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348996)

as a photographer who makes part of my income with press/arts photography, im not looking forward to this. It just means more morons crowding events and creating problems for the rest of us. Yeah, im real happy you write/shoot for some blog with 5 people who read it.

I too wish there was less competition... er uh... morons crowding events in my field of biological research. Yes, I'm really happy about having to be competitive. It would be so much easier if they would start issuing "scientist licenses" which were very difficult to get so I would have less competition and more time to procrastinate without worrying someone else will scoop me. Ooh, and with less competition, I bet demand would be higher for me and I'd get more money.

Man, this really does suck for you AC. Now you'll have to actually, you know, be competitive at your job. I feel so bad for you.

Re:great, thanks a lot (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31349436)

You don't have a scientist license from an accredited science license producing institution? How did you get a job in the field without a degree?

While I agree with your sentiment, you used a bad example as 'scientist' is actually a field with significant barriers to entry.

Re:great, thanks a lot (1)

CraftyJack (1031736) | more than 4 years ago | (#31350014)

I see the degree, raise you a peer-review process, and disagree with the GP. I think that licensing (or some other vetting) is a very good thing when you need an assurance of performance - especially if there is a risk that poor performers will crowd out good ones. Licensed engineers, licensed contractors, and licensed truck drivers are all very good things, in my mind. (Despite the fact that they could be underbid by unlicensed alternatives.)

Re:great, thanks a lot (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31350058)

Right, licensed doctors, licensed lawyers, licensed therapists: these are good things because unqualified people in these fields can cause serious harm. Unqualified journalists aren't going to hurt anyone, except maybe English teachers.

Re:great, thanks a lot (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351590)

If unqualified journalists aren't going to hurt anyone, why did Brazil have a law that said you needed years of university before you could become part of the press.
Military dictatorship like to know the types of people who get to inform the people everyday.

Re:great, thanks a lot (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351368)

Why should you get special treatment?

If you can't survive the competition, especially from people who only have 5 readers then your not very good and should probably find something else to do.

Start with the journalists who were laid off... (4, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31347728)

This is starting to become the new form of journalism. The "big guys" like TV and radio owners are starting to lay off their full time staff, and replacing them with people who can report, record, and edit their own pieces who get paid by the number of reports they generate that make air.

To the average news viewer, this is almost transparent... so the standard shouldn't be "I work for CNN," but "CNN uses my iReports regularly."

Re:Start with the journalists who were laid off... (4, Insightful)

Tobor the Eighth Man (13061) | more than 4 years ago | (#31347830)

I think it's great in theory, but in practice I'm always worried that this is another way for corporations to profit off the work of little guys while paying them less and giving them fewer benefits, backing, and security. Freelancing (and that's what this is) is like contracting, with all the ups and downsides that go along with it, except it's a damn sight harder for a freelancer to make a living comparable to a full-time employee than it is for a contractor to do the same.

Re:Start with the journalists who were laid off... (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#31350630)

And as the big media shifts to being aggregators rather than publishers, they can push all kinds of liability, accountability, and accuracy issues down onto the shoulders of the 'little guys'.

Re:Start with the journalists who were laid off... (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351954)

The Internet brings more freedom.

That means more people who have less in life are free to take your job in exchange for less pay, which is still better than what they had before.

While journalists may have been able to command higher wages and standards previously, the Internet levels the playing field since journalism requires very little extra knowledge to get started. Anyone with a certain set of traits is capable of being an extremely good journalist, regardless of their educational background or social standing. There are a lot of people that fit that bill, now that the Internet is so common that people who have far less in life can provide the same information as higher paid (relatively) 'professional' or 'career' journalists, the big companies will take the cheapest they can, why shouldn't they, its simple supply and demand.

Unfortunately, for now at least, those good journalists are drown out by the sheer number of morons with blogs.

Re:Start with the journalists who were laid off... (1)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#31347940)

Dear God did you really use their branded iReport. Can't there be professional freelance reporters? Do they really need to call their reports by the generic CNN iReport, isn't that kind of iTerm overused? How about I'm a regular contributor to CNN, they pay my bills as a free lance contractor, I also sub my articles out to the AP and other news organizations.

Re:Start with the journalists who were laid off... (3, Funny)

A Big Gnu Thrush (12795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348828)

iAgree

Re:Start with the journalists who were laid off... (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348158)

I agree. Instantaneous transmittal of info is one of the forces which are causing investigative journalism to come under severe stress, it should be one of the forces which can help it survive and reinvest itself. The NYT or CNN should not have to maintain expensive bureaus all over the world. Local citizen journalists, properly vetted and experienced, can serve that function for multiple news agencies.

Independent contracting is the future for journalism.

Bloggers don't report news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31347732)

They editorialize.

Re:Bloggers don't report news (3, Insightful)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348222)

They editorialize.

Since when did "news" mean copying and pasting a press release? "Editorializing" is nothing more than asking questions and trying to answer them.

If newspapers actually did this then there'd be no reason to go to blogs.

Re:Bloggers don't report news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31353326)

Since when did "news" mean copying and pasting a press release?

I'm not sure when it actually started to happen (my guess is around the time the AP was formed) but from what I've seen over the last 10 to 20 years... it's par for the course. Go pick up any local newspaper, the majority of the content comes straight off the AP wire with no editing, verification, etc.

In any event, this isn't news. They actually can't refuse a press pass to ANYBODY anymore. There was a recent supreme court ruling which tossed out preferential treatment for media companies. Most people have heard about this ruling under headlines talking about "Courts now allow corporations to buy any politicians they want" or "Courts rule that companies are people".

I write for Slashdot (5, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31347738)

I post opinions, rumors, announcements, and other "media-like" information right here on this very site in the form of comments. Unfortunately, because I don't submit stories, enter journals, or edit summaries (I don't think the /. editors do either) I am not considered a journalist.

Despite the time and effort I put into making sure my posts are factual, interesting, engaging, inciteful, and sometimes funny, my work (and I don't hesitate to call it work) here as a active contributor to the discussions surrounding each story is like dust in the wind, dude.

Re:I write for Slashdot (3, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31347772)

If you've got enough attention on Slashdot, and you've got something to say... register a domain name, get a $20-40/mo. hosting package, and link to it in your Slashdot signature. If people like you here, they'll love you there.

Re:I write for Slashdot (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31347844)

Despite the time and effort I put into making sure my posts are factual, interesting, engaging, inciteful, and sometimes funny, my work

I like that one! I think that some journalist do put "inciting people" ahead of "giving people insight". So, perhaps you can be an incite-ful journalist and work for Fox News or something.

Re:I write for Slashdot (3, Interesting)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31347860)

inciteful

It is not a word, but it should be.

Re:I write for Slashdot (5, Funny)

joeslugg (8092) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348450)

+1 Inciteful

Re:I write for Slashdot (1)

u38cg (607297) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348788)

It incited you to post, didn't it?

Re:I write for Slashdot (1)

Akido37 (1473009) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348034)

I post opinions, rumors, announcements, and other "media-like" information right here on this very site in the form of comments. Unfortunately, because I don't submit stories, enter journals, or edit summaries (I don't think the /. editors do either) I am not considered a journalist.

Despite the time and effort I put into making sure my posts are factual, interesting, engaging, inciteful, and sometimes funny, my work (and I don't hesitate to call it work) here as a active contributor to the discussions surrounding each story is like dust in the wind, dude.

Maybe I missed it, but where was the Bad Analogy?

Re:I write for Slashdot (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348156)

BadAnalogyGuy:Whining Bloggers :: Whining Bloggers:Journalists

Re:I write for Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31349444)

my work...is like dust in the wind, dude.

I was a little disturbed by the lack of cars in his post though.

Re:I write for Slashdot (2, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 4 years ago | (#31349704)

So? If someone was willing to pay you to do it, would something change?

That's all "journalism" is. People mystify this crap like it's some kind of secret fraternity, with secret rules.

Here's how it works. First, you write/video a bunch of shit.

Then you go to a media outlet, and say, "Here is my shit. If you like it, I can produce shit like this for you."

If they like it they say, "We like your shit. Go out and produce shit RIGHT NOW, so we can see what your shit looks like when you don't have time to prepare." If they like the shit you produce under pressure, you'll be hired and be an official journalist.

That's it. That's the whole thing. Now, to work for some big outlet, they'll expect you to have worked somewhere smaller and produced good shit while you worked there. But that's about the only barrier to entry. I know a guy who went from a paper that had circulation smaller than my college paper to one of the top 5 papers in the country in less than 5 years, all because people liked his shit.

Journalism or just diarrhea? (1)

carlhaagen (1021273) | more than 4 years ago | (#31347828)

An interesting detail is that 99% of the "bloggers" on the web only post volatile, vain bollox, and that cannot count as journalism, which I believe is a requirement for a press pass.

Re:Journalism or just diarrhea? (1, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348016)

so do 90% of "journalists".

Re:Journalism or just diarrhea? (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31349162)

To qualify my above statement:

"Ninety percent of everything is crud"-Theodore Sturgeon

Re:Journalism or just diarrhea? (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 4 years ago | (#31356342)

indeed Jan Moir in the UK being a prime example

Re:Journalism or just diarrhea? (1)

SwedishPenguin (1035756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348768)

Which is why they're going to look at what they've written previously. The same rules should apply to "news organziations".
Is this journalism? http://www.cnn.com/2010/SHOWBIZ/Music/03/03/jessica.simpson.oprah/index.html?hpt=T2 [cnn.com]

Re:Journalism or just diarrhea? (1)

lgarner (694957) | more than 4 years ago | (#31350908)

Of course it is, based on a quick glance. The subject isn't what determines whether something is "journalism."

Bloggers for Satan. (0)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 4 years ago | (#31347872)

"... the city will now decide who a journalist is by looking at the type of work they do, and not the organization they write for."

"Hi, John Doe here, reporting live on behalf of the Satanic Blog Network..."

Yes, this was my poor attempt at humor, but seriously, you just might want to know who the blogger really represents before finding out they were hired by the "wrong" people to spread mis-information, especially when the vehicles of information these days(FB, blogs, twitter) are damn near real-time.

Re:Bloggers for Satan. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31347968)

I'm not sure why you think that a person should be barred from the press because of their beliefs or biases.

Factual reporting can be done by anyone, even if they are a huge troll.

Fact: your brother just got his retainer.

Re:Bloggers for Satan. (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348172)

I'm not sure why you think that a person should be barred from the press because of their beliefs or biases.

Factual reporting can be done by anyone, even if they are a huge troll.

Fact: your brother just got his retainer.

Think about the effects of mis-information spread at real-time during an emergency, with the masses just blindly following? If it caused real damage, would it be considered e-terrorism? THAT was my point in determining just who someone is representing and why they are there.

Sorry, but when I read things like this, I tend to fast-forward 3 years and 5 "cyber-attacks" from now, when the Government steps in with a "new-and-improved" E-Patriot Act...

Re:Bloggers for Satan. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31348966)

Think about the effects of mis-information spread at real-time during an emergency, with the masses just blindly following? If it caused real damage, would it be considered e-terrorism?

When the Haitian earthquake struck some weeks ago, the realtime news were damn scarce. I was away from home at a place without a PC and needed to find how badly it hurt the neighboring country and my family there. At home later that night, I went on google, and found out iReports and other blogs (albeit unregulated and disorganized, prone to alteration.) Nothing was there other than what TV news and large journalist chains like AP had published. News media itself has to fill time on the airwaves and cause a general panic based on the uncertainty of incomplete data on a major disaster (think the first 10 minutes of 9/11). Bloggers aren't bound by those same rules and SHOULD blog after they have the tangible facts (maybe Twitter is better if the facts they have can only fill a sentence.)

Nothing is stopping bloggers from doing whatever they want, and that is the "problem." Besides a lack of actual value in their replication of facts is the problem that a lie spread, later that night, showing a picture of a destroyed bridge, and claiming that the already large effects of the quake had been even more devastating elsewhere in Haiti. Because this "planted" factoid and mis-used picture spread like a virus in the online chaos, no-one was the wiser.

This is the problem with watching news unfold live on the web. You can't tell facts from lies until enough posters can "confirm" whether they know the truth. I'm not saying that large news services are automatically truthful, but at the other end of the spectrum are people trolling with power entrusted to them (by our choice as web users to believe their posts.) Since taking away this power by hard laws can cause damage to those who use the power well, then we need to invest time to judge and be skeptic of things until enough time has passed to refute the data.

Even real journalists had trouble holding emotional shock in check to report reality. They are people after all. People like them "heard" explosions that weren't there and "saw" things they explained by whatever reality their brains created. In the midst of chaos, while a problem is still happening and no expert is there, people take your word at a high value due to the emotional load. I cannot even think how bad the misinformation would be if everyone near the now fallen Twin Towers had access to real-time posting back in 2001. Much good, but also much evil and more conspiracies. Even without bloggers back then, conspiracies were fathered that haunt us to this day.

Re:Bloggers for Satan. (2, Insightful)

sobachatina (635055) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348096)

I disagree with you completely.

It is impossible to guarantee that a journalist is going to report an event with a bias in your favor. You can't expect it now from traditional journalists- why would you expect it from bloggers.

It is not the responsibility of the police or event organizers or the people who issue press passes to evaluate potential biases in the journalists.

It IS the responsibility of the readers of those journalists to identify their biases and accept or reject their reports accordingly- just like it always has been with reporting.

Re:Bloggers for Satan. (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 4 years ago | (#31355810)

It IS the responsibility of the readers of those journalists to identify their biases and accept or reject their reports accordingly- just like it always has been with reporting.

How about...you know, trying to keep the bias out altogether and just reporting the bloody facts so I can make up my own mind? Novel idea, I know...

Re:Bloggers for Satan. (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 4 years ago | (#31349738)

They aren't hiring anyone. They're just saying that you won't automatically be turned away because you don't represent a big media outlet.

These events are standing room only. Not everyone is going to get in regardless, and the current rules about journalists are just a rule of necessity to keep the attendance under control.

Hey guys, I'm from the internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31347902)

And here to bring you the news. :P

freedom of the press for those that own presses (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31347934)

used to be.

Now it's freedom or the press for those with mod points!

(flamebait, i know)

Finally. (3, Funny)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348194)

What's been missing from the coverage the David Patterson press conferences has been the shrewd, insightful experience and reportage from the OMG ponies! perspective. The mainstream media has been suppressing that important voice since, like, forever. Mean people suck! Also, that young guy Aaron on America Idol - he would so make a great sparkly vampire someday.

Re:Finally. (2, Funny)

s122604 (1018036) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348294)

If they give out press passes to bloggers, how can we be certain there will be enough room at an event for the real journalists from the New York Post?

Re:Finally. (1)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348520)

Luckily, we had the OMG ponies! guys running all of the debates during the last US Presidential election cycle.

Re:Finally. (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#31349206)

What's been missing from the coverage the David Patterson press conferences has been the shrewd, insightful experience and reportage from the OMG ponies! perspective.

Man, how on earth did they manage to exclude the cable [foxnews.com] news [cnn.com] networks [msn.com] ?

(PS I honestly can't tell if you were making that same point only more subtly, or if you were honestly implying bloggers had less credibility than "real news.")

Mixed feelings. (1, Troll)

GiveBenADollar (1722738) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348290)

On one hand this is a great victory for free speech/freedom of the press. On the other hand, if they start handing out press passes to anyone then there is a real threat for terrorists to easily get their hands on press passes. I just hope they do some kind of background check first. 'Hi I'm from Al Qaeda news and would like to bring some camera equipment backstage for the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade. Don't mind the canisters marked anthrax, it's the new Kodak anthrax film. '

Re:Mixed feelings. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31348372)

Another fearmongering moron spouting the word terrorist.

Hey, stupid, the terrorists could ALREADY DO THAT. Idiot.

Everything could be abused by terrorists. We'd better stop having children; they might GROW UP TO BE A TERRORIST OMG

Re:Mixed feelings. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31348796)

Sorry about that last comment. I just get angry about that word. I prefer raporist. I'm going back to my cardboard box now to suck off crackheads for extra booze money.

Re:Mixed feelings. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31349030)

I've never liked the idea of press passes, because they perpetuate the idea that there is some elite class of people called "the press", and that "freedom of the press" applies just to them. But freedom of the press, just like freedom of speech, is a right everyone has--and always was.
If you want to make special arrangements with certain groups and individuals to grant them access to your private property for reporting purposes, that's your business. But I don't like the idea that certain people be given exclusive access to government events because they have more freedom to write and report than the rest of us.

Re:Mixed feelings. (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#31349536)

I'm not worried so much about terrorists as 'journalist flash mobs' where every Tom, Dick, and Harriet with a blog and a press pass* tries to crash the police lines at an active crime scene, or a major emergency (fire, steam pipe rupture, or whatever), or major 'social' event... Whether for the purpose of actual news reporting or with other, less than noble, intentions. Blogging tends to be much more 'look at me, look at me, look at me' than it does about reporting, and the potential for abuse and problems under the new standards abounds.

Crown control for the NYPD, FDNY, and other city enforcement authorities just got much harder. This is a victory for free speech and free press, but I suspect common sense may have just taken a thrashing.

* If you read TFA, the bar for obtaining and maintaining credentials seems awfully low.

Re:Mixed feelings. (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351696)

Sure you might have a few journalist flash mobs, but have your elite media ever asked where the maintenance cash went?
Tom, Dick or Harriet might just keep digging into records and asking the right questions of city authorities when they face the public.

Re:Mixed feelings. (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#31352590)

Bloggers do actual work? What planet do you live on?

What a great idea! (0, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348896)

Lets throw out the vetting process and let any douche bag who can go to an Internet cafe and login to blogspot have a press pass, great idea.

Why not just make it so a press pass costs $5 and anyone can buy one ... I mean, thats what you've done anyway.

No, traditional media isn't perfect and bias free, but regardless of all the political bullshit out there, I still have far more faith that I'm going to be able to filter out the bullshit from traditional media far easier than figuring out the agenda of some random blogger who's never been seen by more than 5 people before in is life.

Re:What a great idea! (1, Troll)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 4 years ago | (#31349358)

So, you're so incapable of determining the veracity of what you're reading that you demand government get involved to restrict who can have access to news?

I've never understood the concept of a "press pass" in the first place.

Re:What a great idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31351774)

So, you're so incapable of determining the veracity of what you're reading that you demand government get involved to restrict who can have access to news?

I've never understood the concept of a "press pass" in the first place.

You're not as smart as you think you are. Other people are smarter than you think they are.

If you think you can spot all the bullshit in the media without knowing the source you are wrong.

Re:What a great idea! (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31350754)

No, traditional media isn't perfect and bias free, but regardless of all the political bullshit out there, I still have far more faith that I'm going to be able to filter out the bullshit from traditional media far easier than figuring out the agenda of some random blogger who's never been seen by more than 5 people before in is life.

Nice strawman argument you created for yourself there.

There are a lot of sites that were started by "some random blogger who's never been seen by more than 5 people before in is life" (like Fark, Slashdot, RedState, Daily Kos) and are now a big deal in both the online world and the offline one.

Re:What a great idea! (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351750)

There are a lot of sites that were started by "some random blogger who's never been seen by more than 5 people before in is life" (like Fark, Slashdot, RedState, Daily Kos) and are now a big deal in both the online world and the offline one.

Yes, and for every one of those you can name, there are at least 100k that aren't worth the hard drive space they occupy or the air their authors breath.

There are exceptions to every rule, but in this case the exceptions don't need the law to be changed, and more importantly do not make up for the problems that are going to be caused when every random blogger goes and screws around where he shouldnt' be.

Lets take it further. Bloggers should get press passes at sporting events too. Guess what, the only people at sporting events will become bloggers. Doesn't matter if one or two of those people MIGHT be good reporters, its ruined by the spam from all the other idiots who aren't worth the time to read or aren't even there to be journalists, their just taking advantage of 'press pass'.

Re:What a great idea! (1)

tian2992 (1690038) | more than 4 years ago | (#31353672)

That is like saying that because so many politicians have made speeches, 'I have a Dream' and 'The Gettysburg Address' are ruined by that. All Persons have Free Speech, their quality has nothing to do with the crap others say. This is simply an extension of it.

Look at the work they do (0, Troll)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31349064)

the city will now decide who a journalist is by looking at the type of work they do, and not the organization they write for.

OK, that will get the New York Times out of the way of real reporters.

Not Unreasonable (3, Interesting)

jayme0227 (1558821) | more than 4 years ago | (#31349390)

One of the sports blogs that I regularly read, which will remain unmentioned for fear of the Slashdot effect, actually convinced the NFL to give him a press pass to the NFL Scouting Combine. Since I started reading his blog in '08, the writer has ingratiated himself with the local* beat guys, get an article published in the New York Times, and built a rapport with members of the national sports media and NFL Players. When it counts, he puts in just as much work as the beat writers and his analysis is often a step ahead of theirs, even with less access. I have absolutely no problem with giving him a press pass.

Nate Silver, from fivethirtyeight.com, also provides excellent political commentary. His primary work is with polls, and we was able to correctly predict 49 of the 50 states in the 2008 presidential election. He has also contributed to ESPN, Slate, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, and the New York Sun. Again, I hardly have an issue with him receiving a press pass.

As stated in the article, there are requirements in place for attaining a press pass. I'm sure this will be a work in progress, but opening up the news reporting mechanism in this country can hardly be a bad thing.

*He lives in New York, but covers the Green Bay(Wisconsin) Packers. He gets regular commentary from writers in Green Bay and Milwaukee, the two largest markets that cover the team.

Re:Not Unreasonable (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 4 years ago | (#31356332)

a F1 blog (F1 Fanatic) actualy got press acrediation for testing at jurez, If a blogger wants a press pass why not Join the NUJ which is what I would do If I was working for a "newsy" site.

Free parking (1)

eht (8912) | more than 4 years ago | (#31349870)

There are a number of "Press" parking spots in NYC. A large number of people get the passes for free parking and get maps detailing the locations of these spots. You are not allowed to park in these spots without either the press license plate or a placard in your window, if you do have either of those, free parking.

Been there, done that, mixed feelings (1)

Threemoons (70070) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351848)

I have mixed feelings about this. I was a freelance business writer during the end of the DotCom boom. I actually did have some published pieces, and because of that, I didn't have too hard a problem getting into MOST industry events (where I was professional and actually working).

However, those same tech events were even then littered with "faux press" already--guys who showed up with huge empty duffel bags for the sole purpose of hoarding all of the free crap that they could grab, like T-shirts, software samples, etc. It made it almost impossible to get a legit review copy of anything, be it a book or a software title, if you got there past the first open hour, because the grabbers had already been through.

There was a whole sub-tribe of folks who I ran into for years who did nothing at trade shows and industry events other than get drunk, eat as much food as possible in the press room, and take as much free crap as they could carry.

ON THE OTHER HAND.....

I know lots of very good and legit bloggers and photgraphers who were shut out of events precisely due to lack of previous "paper" published work or byline in-hand. It seemed very arbitrary.

The grabbers always made it in, but a lot of honest folks trying to make a start for themselves got shut out.

I don't know what the legality of a two-tier press pass system would be, but it would be nice if there was some kind of intermediate "apprentice" pass available for just-starters. If they get a positive follow-up from an event organizer X number of times, they could "graduate" to a full pass. If they're not grabbers or bullshit artists, then they wouldn't mind giving a real URL and a real name for contact purposes.

Just a thought and my 2c.

Good opportunity (1)

fyrewulff (702920) | more than 4 years ago | (#31352038)

For existing press people to start teaching training classes on how to approach the scene, safety, etc

I think this is great (1)

chewthreetimes (1740020) | more than 4 years ago | (#31353220)

Traditional print hasn't figured out how to stay competitive in the new world and is reducing quality of reporting by reducing to a skeleton staff. Might as well remove the barriers and allow the alternative media equal footing. Sure there are a lot of schmucks with blogs, but there are also a lot of knowledgeable and passionate folks out there who write blogs. Sure the wrinkles still need to be worked out, as in, what, if any, should the qualifications be for bloggers. Should it be based on readership? Past output? Who makes that decision? This stuff can be ironed out over time as problems present themselves. But you have to start somewhere.

This could make for a fun visit to NYC (1)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | more than 4 years ago | (#31355470)

Now that I've been endowed with the entirely necessary indiscriminate press pass for my work in blogging old cartoons; I suddenly feel it's my civic duty to attend every single event I can with my new press credentials before someone eventually takes them away

Accountability? Training? (1)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357184)

If the only qualification for being a journalist is "having an email address", where do we get accountability? Real journalists take classes on ethics and have an employer who can fire them. It's easier to blackball a journalist out of the field than it is to prevent a blogger from posting.

i dislike the idea if bloggers as journalists more than i dislike people writing in a professional capacity and calling it blogging.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>