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Should you need a license to be a journalist?

Should you need a license to be a journalist?


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jamesrage

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Should you need a license to be a journalist?
Yes
no
maybe/other


I wonder how many of these reporters spoke out against requiring a permit/license for 2nd amendment rights?I guess if they can require a permit/license in other words permission from the government to exercise one constitutional right then they can do the same for other constitutional rights too.

FOXNews.com - Michigan Considers Law to License Journalists
A Michigan lawmaker wants to license reporters to ensure they’re credible and vet them for “good moral character.”

Senator Bruce Patterson is introducing legislation that will regulate reporters much like the state does with hairdressers, auto mechanics and plumbers. Patterson, who also practices constitutional law, says that the general public is being overwhelmed by an increasing number of media outlets--traditional, online and citizen generated--and an even greater amount misinformation.

“Legitimate media sources are critically important to our government,” he said.

He told FoxNews.com that some reporters covering state politics don’t know what they’re talking about and they’re working for publications he’s never heard of, so he wants to install a process that’ll help him and the general public figure out which reporters to trust.

“We have to be able to get good information,” he said. “We have to be able to rely on the source and to understand the credentials of the source.”

Critics say the proposed law will stem press freedoms and is bound to be politicized with disgruntles politicians going after reporters who don’t paint them in a positive light. They say that adding members of the so-called fourth estate to the list of government regulated occupations would likely be found unconstitutional.
 
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Your Star

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No.

We live in a free speech country, and this is part of living in a free speech country.
 

Hoplite

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I'm uncomfortable with the “good moral character” bit as its quite vague.

I'm not in favor of the law to begin with, but I dislike vagaries in the law that can be exploited
 

zimmer

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Should you need a license to be a journalist?
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no
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Years ago, when I was naive, I would have said yes, but the press is largely a propaganda arm. Below Howard Fineman explains how it happened that the Press became Democrat Propagandists.

Journalism is not rocket science.
Dig up facts, look for info from both or all sides, and report it fairly.

If you can do that, you are practicing journalism.

Were those that broke CBS News/NY Times attempt to use forged documents to swing a Presidential election journalists? I would say so. They should have gotten a Pulitzer or numerous Pulitzers.

Drudge? Broke TWO stories: Newsweek tried to bury Clinton-Lewinsky. He revealed Clinton lied under oath.
It got Clinton impeached.
Not an accredited journalist, but Pulitzer(s) worthy reporting.

Fineman: 'Mainstream Media Party' is over - Howard Fineman- msnbc.com
WASHINGTON - A political party is dying before our eyes... I'm talking about the "mainstream media,"...

At the height of its power, the AMMP (the American Mainstream Media Party) ...

Still, the notion of a neutral, non-partisan mainstream press was, to me at least, worth holding onto. Now it's pretty much dead...

The seeds of its demise were sown with the best of intentions in the late 1960s, when the AMMP was founded in good measure (and ironically enough) by CBS.

The problem was that, once the AMMP declared its existence by taking sides, there was no going back. A party was born.

It was not accident that the birth coincided with an identity crisis in the Democratic Party. The ideological energy of the New Deal had faded; Vietnam and various social revolutions of the ’60s were tearing it apart. Into the vacuum came the AMMP, which became the new forum for choosing Democratic candidates.
.
 
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spud_meister

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well, it would violate the 1st amendment, as it could be used to inhibit free speech, and i doubt it would work anyway, the reporters holding the licenses would probably get a massive influx of 'un-named sources'
 

Regicollis

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Definitely no. Such a system would be very prone to exploitation by politicians and their puppet-masters.
 

StandUpChuck

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No, but when I majored in Journalism in college, we were required to take an Ethics class. It seems pretty stupid now because even in class, we knew we'd report certain stories as we saw them.
 

MyOwnDrum

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I voted maybe. It seems people should at least know the basics of journalist ethics. In my state, if you want to work in a restaurant you are required to take a one day seminar on food handling. If you want to serve liquor, there is a one day certification for that.

It seems to me that journalists should at least know the legal and ethical basics with perhaps something like the above.
 

TOJ

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Should the governement be able to decide who can publish information? That would certainly be a good way to let the govenment control criticisim. It would also raise some amount of funds from licensing fees.

Should those already in a buisiness be able to keep others out? Professional licensing in the USA is almost always supported by those already in the business because it limits the competition.

.
 

deltabtry

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I voted No, but a brain and practicing to keep their own political beliefs out of the reporting would be nice.
 

jamesrage

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I voted maybe. It seems people should at least know the basics of journalist ethics. In my state, if you want to work in a restaurant you are required to take a one day seminar on food handling. If you want to serve liquor, there is a one day certification for that.

It seems to me that journalists should at least know the legal and ethical basics with perhaps something like the above.

The difference between those things that you mentioned is that freedom of the press and speech are in the constitution, there are no constititonal rights to sell liquore or serve food.
 

earthworm

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Yes, but only if we have people who can write the necessary ethical standards..Of this, I am not impressed with what I have seen.
So, before this can be written into legislation, we must reduce the illiteracy and the poor English in our nation.
There must be a law against :
small print
second languages
poor English
Now, imagine how difficult this is.
Forgive the mis-spelled word, please.
 

earthworm

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I'd go as far as advocating that our Constitution be re-written.
It is no longer the 1600, the 1700s.
Do we have the people capable of doing this today?
Read the blogs, the internet reponses, the forums, and from that I'd say no.
 
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Ockham

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I had to vote no. Not based on 1st amendment or free speech or anything like that.... something more basic. Do I want a law, to be passed by the Federal or State government which then dictates what type of journalist they will license? Really? I'm going to give government --- that ability by making it a law. Hells no.
 

pragmatic

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uuhhhh, nope. Some" poll questions" are more challenging than others. This one was pretty easy.....



.
 

UtahBill

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No, but when I majored in Journalism in college, we were required to take an Ethics class. It seems pretty stupid now because even in class, we knew we'd report certain stories as we saw them.
Are you suggesting that ethics is situational? I am shocked !!!
 

webrockk

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Patterson further exposed himself as a statist RINO with this proposal.
 

zimmer

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Should the governement be able to decide who can publish information? That would certainly be a good way to let the govenment control criticisim.

Should those already in a buisiness be able to keep others out? Professional licensing in the USA is almost always supported by those already in the business because it limits the competition.

.
The nature of guilds is to keep people out, narrow the market and raise fees.
Obama tried that already.
Told R's not to listen to Rush.
Tried to sideline FOXNEWS from the White House Press pool.
Tried to tell folks what a news network is.

Then we have the one sordid bit of legislation the left is dying to reinstitute; The Fairness Doctrine.
Pretty soon that won't matter; folks will be able to get their shows from the internet or satellite (would be a boom for satellite radio) and should they institute the Fairness Doctrine for radio, it will die just like Air Amerika.

The more open the better. The AMMP, the Socialists of Amerika Party (SAPs) need competition, and they lose in the free market.
Just look at radio, FOXNEWS and WSJ.

Their saviour, the AMMP's saviour is to go back to reporting news, but even then they are so far gone that may not help.

I enjoy watching their demise. Others more responsible will fill the void.

.
 
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Hatuey

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No. But a degree in journalism should be mandatory for all those who want to call themselves 'journalists'. Otherwise they're just loudmouths.
 

Hoplite

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No. But a degree in journalism should be mandatory for all those who want to call themselves 'journalists'. Otherwise they're just loudmouths.
Thats the same thing as requiring people to have a license.
 

zimmer

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No. But a degree in journalism should be mandatory for all those who want to call themselves 'journalists'. Otherwise they're just loudmouths.
You mean it should be mandatory that they be indoctrinated ... because that is what the journalism schools are... institutes of socialist indoctrination.

... I think that my primary qualification for running a news channel is that I don't have a degree in journalism. I have life experience that goes pretty far beyond all that.

LAMB: You know that drives people crazy when you say that, in our business.

AILES: Well, it drives them crazy because they don’t like to think that life experience is the equivalent. But I know people who have been to journalism schools. I speak at journalism schools. I’ve known journalists. I’ve been on the opposite side of journalists from time to time. I know how they think. And I actually think life experience matters. And I ran a business channel before I did this, so it was business news, but view business news as a part of news.

LAMB: How would you define journalism?

AILES: Journalism is a collection of stories, editing them and presenting them to the people in some fair manner with as many facts as you can muster to get it through to people. It’s a pretty simple craft. It’s not brain surgery. It’s simple but it’s not easy. And to do it right is hard work.

LAMB: What do they teach in journalism school?

AILES: Well, I think they get too political from time to time. I think they draw conclusions for students, at least many of the ones that I’ve talked to. They don’t necessarily teach them the simple things of gather all the facts, present all the facts. I think in many cases they have agendas.


I was asked by a university to give them some money, and I said -- I went to the university and I taught a couple of classes and I interviewed a bunch of students and I said, I’m not going to give you any money until you can graduate somebody who likes America. It’s not a bad country, you know. And I said, As soon as you get me someone like that, I’ll give you some money.

Based on what they’re learning, you’d think we live somewhere else.

LAMB: What evidence did you have at that school that the teachers did not like America?

AILES: Everything is negative. Everything is about -- look, 95 percent of our people are working, the other 5 percent are basically pretty well taken care of by the government. Health care is not bad here. Bill Clinton did all right under it. Most people who want surgery don’t go to Canada, they try to come here. This is a country where everybody is trying to get in and nobody is trying get out.

So it just occurs to me that some of that ought to be taught in context. Not that we don’t have problems, not that we don’t have deep problems in our cities, poverty and some other things, but this is the society that has cured and will continue to cure many of those problems. And I think that the context of all that has to be taught. And I don’t see it being taught very often.

LAMB: If you were to start your own journalism school, how would you teach it?

AILES: I would just teach to do the facts, be fair, make sure that you’ve got the same weigh if there is more than one point of view to every point of view. I always tell our journalists, reach out to a point of view you don’t agree with and make sure it’s in that story.

It’s simple stuff, but you have to do it. And I see the other networks -- I saw David Westin the other day take a shot at Fox News. Now David is the process of trying to turn himself into Fred Friendly, he’s a corporate lawyer who’s trying to be a great journalist. But he has got some problems.

He’s the guy who wanted Leonardo DiCaprio to be a journalist for him. He’s the guy who had his head of politics during the election basically come out and say they didn't have to be fair, they should support Kerry in the debates. I find that odd. I think David's got a lot of work to do in house before he goes out taking a shot at us.

http://www.q-and-a.org/Transcript/?ProgramID=1001
 
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hazlnut

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Re: the OP question - No absolutely not.

But that doesn't mean you get access. Private events can certainly screen journalists and issue press passes.

Palin won't even speak with a non-fox journalist present. As is her right as a private citizen.

With public buildings, the safety of the officials and their staff comes first, then ensuring their ability to conduct business in reasonable manner.
 

The Mark

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No way in hell...

The problem is not the journalists, it's the people who listen to them.
 

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I voted yes BUT because I have certain ideas in mind.

Of course i dont want to hinder free speech in anyway what so ever but there are places i have concerns.

Anybody that wants to write their opinion should be free to do so I have no problem with that. The opinion may be accurate it may not be they might not have a clue what they are talking about and thats fine. Smart people understand the difference ad yes unfortunately there will always be sheep out there that believe what ever and drink the koolaid. So be it im not going to sacrifice free speech for those tools.

anyway on to my point and correct me if im wrong some journalist are given access to information and locations that others arent allowed now of course some of the info they still cant use cause it is protected one way or another BUT they are still given access to this info and certain locations. Based on that alone YES a certain type of licenses should be needed to those types of journalist. Now if you just sit behind a desk and wite say something like cooking reviews then no of course not but I do think some should need those license or NOT be granted special privileges a normal citizen wouldn't have.
 
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