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Bloggers Now Eligible For Press Passes In NYC 95

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-hath-god-wrought dept.
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.'"
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Bloggers Now Eligible For Press Passes In NYC

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  • Which (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @01:28PM (#31347690)

    ... has made the press pass obsolete.

  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @01:32PM (#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."

    • by Tobor the Eighth Man (13061) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @01:41PM (#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.

      • 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'.

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        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

    • 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.
    • 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.
  • I write for Slashdot (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @01:32PM (#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.

    • by LostCluster (625375) * on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @01:36PM (#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: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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.

    • by characterZer0 (138196) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @01:44PM (#31347860)

      inciteful

      It is not a word, but it should be.

    • by Akido37 (1473009)

      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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SatanicPuppy (611928) *

      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

  • 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.
  • "... 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: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by sobachatina (635055)

      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

      • by Jedi Alec (258881)

        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...

    • 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.

  • Finally. (Score:4, Funny)

    by ScentCone (795499) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @02:11PM (#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: (Score:2, Funny)

      by s122604 (1018036)
      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?
    • by Shotgun (30919)

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

    • 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.")

  • 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: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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 ex

    • 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 problem

      • by AHuxley (892839)
        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.
  • 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 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jayme0227 (1558821) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @03:48PM (#31349390) Journal

    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.

    • by mjwalshe (1680392)
      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.
  • 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.

  • 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

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

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