Next question: audience member says she's also observed a decline in citizen journalist label. But what she's more interested in is new online publications like VanCity Buzz, Vancouver activist groups with their own news articles. People are timid to call out others about bad journalism. There's a Facebook group called Press Group that sometimes calls out VanCity Buzz but there's never a public outcry.
Audience member says they look like a paper from two hundred years ago, just throwing anything at the wall and saying "Is this journalism? We don't know." It could grow in future.
Alan says on what grounds can we criticize them? We've created this situation ourselves.
Next audience question: There's so much stuff out there online for people to read. She doesn't want to say it's not all journalism. But how do we help people decide what's credible? Is it j-school? She works for CBC and isn't concerned about government interference from her experience. What's another way if not j-school?
Dale Bass, hosting this talk, mentions the AB govt report recently commission on who's a journalist in relation to who should get accredited.
Next question: anyone can now attend news conferences at the Legislature, including bloggers who work for one party or a union. What do we do about that?
Alan says we should resist it. Some say we shouldn't accrete more privileges. But we have so many privileges already - access, editing... "We require those privileges." In the US, ideologically aligned bloggers are being asked to cover party conventions. You end up with a world where only your friends cover you.
Public has the same access as journalists, says Jacqui, just not the time, money, legal protections. Go do it, it's just tougher. "I don't see as an independent journalist why you can't do what I do working for a masthead."
Jacqui, Alan agree that blogging is just a format, not a position.
Next audience question: In AB and Ottawa, the govt has left the access question up the press gallery. But they're super overworked, which lends support to argument for professional body.
Dale Bass chips in that CAJ has long discussions about prospective members on this question to, and their answer is usually: 1) do you make most of your income from this and 2) is your work vetted?
Journalism isn't about absolute freedom, in fact much of it is about accepting restrictions. -Alan
Audience debating now: Would accreditation close off journalism to an elite group? Are we already there? Or is that absurd to even ask in an internet age?
Discussion has to end there, but will definitley continue in other venues throughout the weekend!
That's all for now, folks. Thanks for reading.