Your lawyer, teacher, doctor, real estate agent, private investigator, and hairdresser have to be licensed to do their job, but journalists never had to be.
Columbia Journalism Review went off its head when the subject of accreditation came up, bringing up images of dictatorships, though I discussed the subject early in my book Don’t Believe It way back in 2005.
I do not see hairdressers as fascists, and I would prefer if the stylist had some training and standards. It is not a big deal.
In a world of social media, no one’s freedom of speech has to be trampled on — but you need to have people who have specific training to disseminate vetted facts to the public. You can have opinion — and you have it everywhere — what we don’t have are facts.
It is not stifling free speech. It is bringing disciplined to verified facts. You cannot compare the two.
You can have a certain kind of degree and exam, the way people who go to university have to go through those same hoops.
Then there is The Discourse, essentially a lobby for Canadian digital publications to get government pity money with them pushing for inferior online publications to get some of that $50 million government welfare check to newspapers.
Online publications are even more sloppy and indisciplined than the old guard — and no one is owed a penny of taxpayer money that would be better spent on finding out why we have civil servants making six or seven figures in health care and education when nothing has had a single breakthrough.
Digital is not the future. It is the fleeting present. Investing in a transitory medium would be absurd. You need to establish a solid alternative to journalism and let the rot leave the system once and for all.
We are inside the eye of the storm — journalism is trying to turn their fortunes around without success. Everyone is begging for money and donations, no matter what angle they take.
Nothing will work, of course. There are too many beggars littering the Internet with their dire warnings of a world without journalism, and people are staying away because the whiff of desperation is a rotten stench to endure…