Quebec wrestles with professional designation of journalists

In a bid to distinguish between amateur bloggers and professional journalists working for MSM, Quebec is pondering a licensing system that will give “professional” journalists that designation, and greater access to gov’t information than non-professionals. The National Post has come out against it, almost reflexively, and today the Globe and Mail takes its turn. One of the intriguing questions to come up with is whether the ability to speak French will be part of the licensing process. There are anglophone and ethnic media whose reporters may or may not speak French. Is this going to start another language war?

And the free flow of information would be subject to state control. Government advertising would be restricted (under one proposal) to those news organizations that meet accepted proportions of “professional” journalists. News organizations that don’t could be destroyed – including Internet start-ups that could one day become as large and powerful as the Huffington Post.

Aug. 27 2011

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