Last week (on June 2), I informed you
of a U.S. Senator who is introducing a Bill into Congress which if
passed into Law would require ALL journalists to be licensed.
For those American's thinking that james is just a paranoid conspiracy theorist, they
couldn’t be more mistaken!
Just this past week the United States
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released what they
call a "staff discussion draft" of "potential
policy recommendations to support the reinvention of journalism"
wherein they called for a doctrine of "proprietary
facts" that would outlaw anyone writing or reporting on anything
that happens unless they use the "facts" provided to them by the
Please notice the BLUE and RED
highlighted portions above.
The Blue portion is in reference to a
June 3, 2010 article in the NY Post. That article appears below in
The Red portion is in reference to this
article: http://www.buzzmach ine.com/2010/ 05/29/ftc-
protects- journalisms- past/
I would encourage those interested to
read the NY Post article below first, before reading the Buzzmachine article (link immediately above).
Here is the NY Post article:
http://www.nypost. com/p/news/ opinion/opedcolu
How not to save news
ideas for journalism
By JEFF JARVIS
Last Updated: 5:06 AM, June 3, 2010
Posted: 12:51 AM, June 3, 2010
The Federal Trade Commission says it
wants to save journalism. I'm not sure who asked it to.
In a just-released "staff
discussion draft" of "potential policy recommendations to support
the reinvention of journalism," the agency only circles its wagons
around old newspapers and their fading business models.
If the FTC
wants to reinvent journalism, perhaps it should align with news'
disruptors. But there's none of that in this report. The word blog is used
but once in 35 pages of text--and then only in a parenthetical mention of
soccer blogs. Discussion of investing in technology comes on the last page
in a suggestion about tools for "improved electronic note-taking.
I testified before these untechnocrats and told them about my research at CUNY's
Graduate School of Journalism into the emerging ecosystem of news. We found
profitable hyperlocal bloggers selling $200,000
in ads per year. And we built new, less expensive business models for news
(at newsinnovation. com). But that's not
Instead, the FTC
staff declares defeat in the search for business models so it may explore
many government interventions, including:
* Expanding copyright law and
restricting the doctrine of fair comment to benefit legacy publishers.
* Granting antitrust exemptions to
allow publishers to collude on pricing to consumers and to business
* Giving news organizations tax
* Subsidizing news organizations by
increasing government funding to public broadcasting; establishing an
AmeriCorps to pay reporters; giving news companies tax credits for
employing journalists; creating a national fund for local news, and giving
the press an increased postal subsidy.
To its credit, the FTC
does ask how to pay for all this. So the staffers speculated about what
I'll dub the iPad tax -- a 5 percent
surcharge on consumer electronics to raise $4 billion for news. They also
consider a tax on broadcast spectrum and even on advertising.
Most dangerous of all, the FTC considers a doctrine of "proprietary facts,"
as if anyone should gain the right to restrict the flow of information just
as the information is opening it up. Copyright law protects the
presentation of news but no one owns facts -- and if anyone did, you could
be forbidden from sharing them. How does that serve free speech?
The FTC's one
suggestion I can salute is more government transparency -- making agencies
release information in standard formats, enabling us all to become
watchdogs. But that's about responsible government, not saving journalism.
The good news in all this is that the FTC's bureaucrats try hard to recommend little. They
just discuss. And much of what the agency staff ponders are political impossibilities.
If there was grumbling about bailing out General Motors, imagine the
hailstorm about raising taxes to save newspapers.
The report quotes my testimony to the FTC, where I said I'm "optimistic to a fault about
the future of news and journalism." That's because the barrier to
entry into the media business has never been lower -- and that means news
The government should favor neither
incumbents nor newcomers, but rather create a level playing field by
helping every American get open, high-speed access to the Internet. That is
the gateway to the real future of news and media.
I believe that future is
entrepreneurial, not institutional. The industry's institutions have had 15
years since the start of the commercial Web and we've seen how far they can
come. What we need now are innovators -- like my entrepreneurial journalism
students -- to invent new forms, structures, efficiencies and business
models for news.
But those entrepreneurs don't need
government help. They need to be left alone with the assurance they won't
be interfered with by the FTC -- or the FCC, which has its own hearings and reports on the
future of journalism.
"Get off our lawn," I
testified to both agencies in Washington. That didn't make it into the report.
Jeff Jarvis, author of "What Would
Google Do?", teaches at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
--- On Thu, 6/3/10, James King <kjv_sop@yahoo.
From: James King <kjv_sop@yahoo. com>
Subject: [AdventistHotIssues ] And So It Begins:
An Interesting New Law ...
To: AdventistHotIssues@ yahoogroups.
Date: Thursday, June 3, 2010, 11:36 AM
And So It Begins: Michigan
Considering a Law To License Journalists
A Michigan lawmaker wants journalists to be licensed.
As reported this past Friday (May 28)
"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--traditiona
l, online and citizen generated--and an even greater amount
See: http://www.foxnews. com/us/2010/ 05/28/michigan- considers- law-license- journalists/
According to the bill, folks wanting
to be considered as reporters would have to provide proof of:
-- "Good moral character" and
demonstrate they have industry "ethics standards acceptable to the
-- Possession of a degree in journalism
or other degree substantially equivalent.
-- Not less than 3 years experience as a
reporter or any other relevant background information.
-- Awards or recognition related to being
-- Three or more writing samples.
Other than the rediculous
absurdity of points 3 and 4, ie: -- Not
less than 3 years experience as a reporter or any other relevant
background information. -- Awards or recognition related to being
I will say that the "good moral
character" clause certainly eliminates most of the usual
That being said, interested parties
are already lining up against the bill:
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
"It’s misguided and it’s never going
to fly," said Kelly McBride, media ethics expert, the Poynter Institute. She is currently involved in a
project examining the transformation of the journalism profession.
FoxNews - ibid
I cannot help but offering the
question: How about requiring that all sitting legislators (& etc...)
pass a similiar test? And also a test on the
constitution? And maybe an IQ test, too ... ---- Now THAT'S a bill I
could get behind!
Nonetheless, concerning the primary
topic here, (ie: journalists to be licensed),
it should be worthy of factual note that the current Administration &
Congress in DC are certainly having "Issues" against
certain Journalists, and it has been well documented that they
have already gone to extreme lengths to silence some of those Reporters.
... and it would be well to remember
that each and every individual on this Forum is in fact, technically, a Reporter/Journalist!
any one of us posts any "News" related article,
we are in fact: Reporting. And, anytime any one of us offer the
slightest bit of commentary whatsoever, we are in fact: Journalists.
That's definitely something serious
to think about!
The current Bill may not become Law,
(and rightly so!), but nonetheless, I would be willing to wager that a
very similar Bill/Law will indeed soon come about. ... After all, it is
indeed a FACT that the current "Government" is willing to
silence the voices of the common folk!
... Better keep your eyes and ears
open on this one folks!
... May God help us all ....
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2010 1:40 PM
Subject: Re: [AdventistHotIssues] And
So It Begins: An Interesting New Law ... (part 2)