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Re: peering wars revisited? PSI vs Exodus

  • From: Steven M. Bellovin
  • Date: Wed Apr 05 10:26:58 2000

In message <4.3.1.0.20000405095254.00c2b7a0@george.he.net>, Shawn McMahon write
s:
> 
> At 01:11 AM 4/5/2000 -0400, you wrote:
> 
> >the Internet?  I don't think they tattoo 'Journalist' on your head
> >when you get licenced, and I'd not trust a JPEG of a picture - it's
> >too easy to fake with Photoshop. ;)
> 
> You don't get licensed.
> 
> Some folks mistake a "Press Pass" for a license, but here's how you get a 
> press pass:
> 
> Somebody prints it and puts your name and, possibly, picture on it.
> 
> Sometimes; when I was in radio, our press passes didn't even have 
> names.  We just gave 'em to any of our journalists who needed them for a 
> specific event.  Carried one a few times myself.  They were professionally 
> printed with our logo, via a commercial printer who wasn't producing 
> anything that couldn't be done just as well on an HP Color Laserjet.  Some 
> places printed theirs on cheap inkjets.
> 
> A journalist is anybody who writes news stories.
> 
> All of the above applies to the USA only.  I can't speak for other 
> countries that may have funky methods of generating extra tax income by 
> requiring some kind of bizarre license to practice what is, in the US, 
> guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.
> 

In general, you're right, but there are exceptions.  At least in New York City 
circa 1972, the Police Department would issue press passes to "working 
journalists" -- and these were the only passes that would get you past police 
lines to cover a story.  This was particularly grating to me, since I was a 
reporter for a college newspaper and I was trying to cover assorted 
demonstrations that had shut down my school and spilled over into the streets 
-- but college papers didn't count, as far as they were concerned...  We did 
the best we could with home-made press badges, in the hope that this would 
give us some protection against having our heads cracked, and perhaps it did 
work.  On the other hand, I don't remember taking the picture I snapped of the 
head of the Red Squad standing by while a uniformed riot officer clubbed a 
woman lying on the ground -- I was too busy running away from the police 
charge, just like everyone else...

Anyway -- that experience gave me a strong dislike for any arbitrary attempt 
to define a "real" journalist.  A journalist is as a journalist does -- and, 
whether you like the story or not, or like Cook or not, his decision to 
publish was completely in accord with the standards of his profession.


		--Steve Bellovin







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