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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 <[email protected]>, Shawn McMahon write
> 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