From Weasel Zippers:
State Senator Bruce Patterson has an idea to help people sort out the media. He wants to create a state board to license and regulate reporters. Michigan Radio Jack Lessenberry has been thinking about that.
State Senator Bruce Patterson got to thinking about the media recently, and noticed something. Hairdressers and auto mechanics are regulated and licensed by the state.
So are lawyers, doctors, even those who give manicures. So, he reasoned, why shouldn’t reporters be as well?
Last week, Senator Patterson told MIRS, the Michigan Information and Research Service, that he was bothered because there are fewer full-time people covering Lansing.
And some who do show up don’t have adequate knowledge or background to understand what they are writing or broadcasting about. As a result, he says some “news sources” just aren’t credible.
He knows that a plumber legally has to be licensed by the state. So, he reasoned, why shouldn’t journalists be regulated as well? Accordingly, he has introduced a new bill, SB 1323, to add reporters to the list of occupations regulated by the state.
His bill would set up a board to review applications and license reporters. Candidates would have to demonstrate that they have a journalism degree, or, failing that, three years of experience, some published stories, and letters of recommendation.
….However, I was tempted to point out to the senator that one little phrase in his bill would automatically disqualify almost all of us. He wants registered journalists to be of “good moral character.