Journalists and photographers on publications will not be able to apply for a press card if their employer refuses to sign up to the Press Complaints Commission code of practice, under a kitemark proposal due to be voted on by the board of the body that issues accreditation this week.
Not at all. Far too close to trying to define who is worthy enough to be allowed to report the news and who is not. There are countries that have this formally established and I most certainly don\’t like that idea.
This is supposedly voluntary, private sector, and I still don\’t like it. Just don\’t like the idea of anyone at all getting to decide who is a journalist worth of reporting the news and who is not.
To take a trivial example. I once dug some information out of the Treasury (the number of people who had made donations to the tax authorities). Ended up being used in a piece in The Times. But while I was digging for it I was not a \”journalist\”. Had no paper behind me. No accreditation. No PCC cover.
You can look at this one way: Treasury treated me (knowing that I was merely a blogger) well, in that they got the information although rather more slowly I suspect than they would have done for someone more important. So, given that this scheme will not be compulsory, what will change?
Well, I think that it will be all too easy for press offices to say, OK, now that there is this scheme if you\’re not on it you don\’t get to come through the press office. Which I think would be a bad thing.