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Since 'fake news' has become an (inter)national problem, should journalists be licensed?

Here's another thought ...

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1. Patricia Pomerleau CEOExpressSelect Member
     Forum Moderator
     (10/15/2017 1:30:58 PM)
     Message ID #292117

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It's hardly a new idea, but in light of the tightening restrictions to all our freedoms originally guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, shouldn't journalists exercising their First Amendment rights be licensed just as, for example, citizens exercising their Second Amendment rights?

More lawmakers are beginning to think so. Indiana lawmaker Jim Lucas, R-Seymour has drafted a bill requiring state police to license journalists. So has Rep. Mike Pitts of Laurens, South Carolina. As reported in USA Today,

A lawmaker in the vice president's home state has drafted a bill that would require state police to license professional journalists.

Rep. Jim Lucas, a Republican from Seymour, Ind., had the measure drawn up earlier this year and said he may file it to drive home a point about his signature issue — gun rights.

'If you’re OK licensing my Second Amendment right, what’s wrong with licensing your First Amendment right?' he said.

In Indiana, Lucas has been critical of media coverage of his efforts to repeal an Indiana law that requires a permit to carry a handgun. He said reporters, columnists and editorial boards frequently mischaracterize the idea, which is sometimes referred to as 'constitutional carry.'

'If I was as irresponsible with my handgun as the media has been with their keyboard, I’d probably be in jail,' he said.

His proposal would require professional journalists to submit an application to the Indiana State Police. Journalists would be fingerprinted as part of the process and would have to pay a $75 fee for a lifetime license. Those with felony or domestic battery convictions would be prohibited from getting a license.

The proposal is almost an exact copy of Indiana’s law requiring a license to carry a handgun, which Lucas has tried to repeal unsuccessfully for several years.
Naturally, journalists' professional organizations have gotten in line with the NRA and the CCRKBA to push back claiming 'infringement.' Isn't what's good for the goose ...
'Every so often legislators try to introduce these types of bills as attention-grabbing stunts,' said Andrew Seaman, ethics committee chairman for the Society of Professional Journalists. 'The truth is that there are already a number of restrictions on the First Amendment. We have libel laws, copyright laws and countless others that rein in the speech and press rights under the First Amendment.'

A requirement that puts state police in charge of licensing members of the media could have a chilling effect, said Gregg Leslie, legal defense director for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in Washington.

'The obvious problem is that it means the government gets to decide who gets to practice journalism,' he said. 'When you undermine the press, you’re ultimately preventing people from becoming informed.'

USA Today:
Should we accept limits to our First Freedoms for the good of the order?
  • When the only printing presses in existence were expensive, massive, and affordable only by legitimate newspapers, the First Amendment limited itself. Now, anyone can buy a computer and access the Internet without a permit or a 3-day waiting period. Anyone can conceal a browser-equipped smartphone with audio and video recording capability without a license.

  • When it's no longer necessary to 'buy ink by the barrel' for a printing press the size of Rhode Island, doesn't the First Freedom deserve the scrutiny, restrictions, and responsibilities of the Second?

  • Cyber-stalking, cyber-crime, and cyber-bullying often result in death, destruction, financial mayhem, and suicides in numbers that should evoke concern. Cyber criminals rarely are found, and cyber crimes usually go unprosecuted. Isn't a cyber-criminal worse than an open criminal?

  • Finally, with the (inter)national problem of fake news, would licensing journalists return integrity to the profession? What do you think?

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Message edited by user at 11/1/2017 11:08:27 PM

2. Tams Bixby CEOExpressSelect Member
     (11/2/2017 12:49:31 AM)
     Message ID #292823

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First off, I voted "No" and now for the Why ...

"require professional journalists to submit an application to the Indiana State Police. Journalists would be fingerprinted as part of the process and would have to pay a $75 fee for a lifetime license. Those with felony or domestic battery convictions would be prohibited from getting a license."

First -- Who's to say ANYBODY wouldn't:
  • Get a Job as a Reporter; and
  • Profess to be a "Professional Journalist" so as to obtain said credentials; and then
  • Quit and go on their merry way thus defeating the licensing statute since there's nothing stipulated about revoking said License????? (For instance: How many people out there have legitimate J.D.'s but have never in their lives actually practiced Law???)

Second -- What happens If or When a bonefide Journalist switches jobs (from one journalistic employer to another) and is required to move out of state?????

Third -- What about:
  • Retirement; or
  • Legitimate Changes of Profession. How do you handle those scenarios???

Fourth -- What constitutes a legitimate Journalistic Profession. Is a Writer doing research for a book deserving of credentials (i.e. Dan Brown, Tom Clancy, Steven King, J. K. Rowling, etc.)???

The better solution to the problem is to:
  • Pass Laws w/ appropriately harsh penalties against publishing, or causing to be published, any articles on any platform, that are provably FALSE; and then
  • Vigorously Prosecute the journalist, or journalists, and the publishers as well who break those laws; while
  • Publishing in one or more (Inter)NATIONAL platform(s) the trial for the entire country to take notice.

Message edited by user at 11/2/2017 9:19:40 AM

3. D Robb
     (11/2/2017 3:30:50 AM)
     Message ID #292824

This message is in response to Patricia Pomerleau ( message id #292117 )  View All Related Messages

Talk about a solution in search of a problem! The proposal accomplishes nothing except to require journalists to pay $75. There is no fake news problem. The problem for trumpites is that the news papers are not sympathetic to the little hands guy. They keep repeating and commenting on his stupid tweets, and the newspapers report how the courts have consistently overturned his EO’s. They report on the reality that the big deal maker has been totally unable to pass any significant legislation in his first year in office. Finally, the damn newspapers fact check his statements and reveal that he consistently lies 80% of the time. That is the problem. It isn’t fake news, but the fact the newspapers report the truth.

4. D Robb
     (11/2/2017 3:48:43 AM)
     Message ID #292825

This message is in response to Patricia Pomerleau ( message id #292117 )  View All Related Messages

The solution to “fake news” is education, and an understanding that all newspapers have a bias of some kind. Do you think Catalonian newspapers are providing ‘balanced’ stories on Catalonian succession? Do you think that Madrid newspapers are? No, they are reporting the news but they are expressing a natural bias on which stories they decide to report.
The solution? The solution is to read multiple newspapers and go to multiple media sources, and to be honest enough to read the stories you don’t agree with as well as seeking out those that reinforce your bias.

5. D Robb
     (11/2/2017 3:52:01 AM)
     Message ID #292826

This message is in response to Tams Bixby ( message id #292823 )  View All Related Messages

It isn't the mainstream media that is the problem, Tams. As many on this forum have repeatedly stated, they get their news from social media. How are you going to sue or prosecute the Russians for putting fake news on Facebook, or people like Flynn for repeating fake news?

6. D Robb
     (11/2/2017 4:18:44 AM)
     Message ID #292827

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WASHINGTON — Lawmakers released scores of political ads on Wednesday purchased by Russian agents on Facebook and Twitter that showed the extent of the Kremlin’s attempts to polarize the American voting public on issues like race, police abuse and religion.
One account, Army of Jesus, published an illustration of an arm-wrestling match between Christ and the devil. “Satan: If I win, Clinton wins!” the headline read.

7. Noel Meyer
     (11/2/2017 5:48:16 AM)
     Message ID #292828

This message is in response to Patricia Pomerleau ( message id #292117 )  View All Related Messages

First - good analysis Tams. All good reasons NOT to license journalists. Add to those reasons the simple fact that technology is driving to individuals the ability to record events and any form of 'licensing' is simply a way those in power can LIMIT First Amendment rights.

Second - why is it that Republican lawmakers are pushing such bills? The Velveeta Raccoon is simply at war with those pointing out his failures and indefensible mistakes as he himself tries to limit the Freedom of the press and efforts to inform and educate the public. In Trump's eyes, his LYING eyes, a dictator's job is simply made easier when there is no FREE PRESS to challenge his takeover of our rights.

Trump has tried to take the media licensing away from NBC affiliates. Is now the time to LEGALIZE such control over the views of a free and independent press?

Third - LIBEL LAWS exist but the burden of proof does not allow such shallow use for criticism to be banned, just criminal action.

Look at Melania's court case, look at Trump's legal fights, the laws are already there, the laws for libalist activities work, now Republicans want to gut Free Speech because it holds their actions accountable?

LOOK at the current Congressional investigation of Google and Facebook and the massive Russian infusion of 'fake news'. D Robb has stated that it is not MEDIA coverage that causes people to fall for 'fake news' but the fake news from fake news sources like social media where anyone can post opinions and not have to support such views. Russian trolls would not be registered and once REGISTRATION of JOURNALISTS takes place that only opens the door of authorities to LEGISLATE still more destructive measures on American rights and freedoms.

If the REPUBLICANS could push control over the Free Press, do you think Muslims would enjoy the rights of such Freedoms? Do you think other minorities would not be silenced as control over dissent grew?
Have we not all SEEN the actions and results of these actions in other dictatorial nations as tyrants consolidate control?

Why not LICENSE who can be politicians? Do you think Trump's qualifications would allow him to be a licensed politician or would his lack of skills and experience prevent him from using his and Bannon's delusions to govern?

You LICENSE firearms to track murder weapons and even that is fruitless task, now Republicans want to equate license 'bump stocks' with minorities right to free speech?

As Andy often asks, "What am I missing?"

8. Noel Meyer
     (11/2/2017 6:03:51 AM)
     Message ID #292829

This message is in response to Noel Meyer ( message id #292828 )  View All Related Messages

Look at Dan Rather's fall from journalistic Grace for lying.

Who was another? Brian Williams fell from journalistic grace for the same reason.

Who know who isn't being held accountable for 'fake news'? Russian cyber trolls pretending to be Army of God or Committee for a Responsible America. In short Republicans.

This is why Trump is a threat to our American Democracy and is an example of how his delusions are doing that destruction of American rights and Freedoms under our Constitution.

9. Tams Bixby CEOExpressSelect Member
     (11/2/2017 8:09:15 AM)
     Message ID #292830

This message is in response to D Robb ( message id #292826 )  View All Related Messages

First off, I NEVER said it WAS the MSM @ fault.

OK so you add promulgating and/or causing to be promulgated, to the prosecution list. And while it won't go very far legally, you could always prosecute the Ruskies in the Hague.

But the point I was making, which you apparently missed, was that requiring journalists to comply w/ some bogus form of registration is ludicrous.

Message edited by user at 11/2/2017 8:44:36 AM

10. Tams Bixby CEOExpressSelect Member
     (11/2/2017 8:34:18 AM)
     Message ID #292831

This message is in response to Noel Meyer ( message id #292828 )  View All Related Messages

Thanks for the kudos Noel but in reply to your parrot of Andy's question "What am I missing?" ...

The only thing I can think of you are missing is that the Donkeycrats are equally culpable to the Repugnicans when it comes to oversight. And while you won't hear the Donkeys clamoring about "legislating this" or "legislating that" as do the Repugs, neither party wants to be scrutinized when it comes to doing the job of politico. The more behind the scenes they (the Donkeys) can remain, just like the Repugs, the better they like it.
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