December 7, 2014

WELL, THIS IS STUPID: Alabama State Senator: Defining ‘journalist’ may become necessary.

Freedom of the press is essential. Freedom of the press is important to me. Freedom of the press is not going anywhere in Alabama.

With the national explosion of partisan political blogs and shady, fly-by-night websites offering purposely skewed and inaccurate interpretations of hard news events, I recently asked the Secretary of the Senate to put together a definition of what qualifies as a legitimate journalist. . . .

Just as elected officials are accountable to the people they represent, so, too, are journalists accountable to an editor.

While a free and open press is vital and necessary, there are some who are attempting to hijack the profession by promoting raw political agendas from the confines of the press gallery. This is not freedom of the press, it is deceitful and wrong.

I acknowledge that in today’s rapidly changing media world, it is more complicated to determine who should and should not be considered a legitimate journalist.

To that end, I have asked the Alabama Press Association to assist the Senate staff in determining a proper definition of what constitutes a journalist meriting access to the press room.

Uh huh. Granted, this is only press-room access but (1) it’s not like traditional journos aren’t partisan operatives; and (2) this is a slippery slope.

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