June 5th, 2010
Licensed to (make journalists) ill
By Andy Schotz
Apparently, a Michigan lawmaker was just messing around when he proposed licensing journalists.
Under his bill (click on “Senate introduced bill”), reporters would have to “be of good moral character and demonstrate, by a signed statement, knowledge of any acceptable industrywide ethics standards acceptable to the board.”
They also would need to show a state regulatory board they have: a degree in journalism or a related field, three years’ experience, awards, at least three writing samples, or a letter of recommendation from another reporter. And pay $10.
Maybe the legislator is getting the attention he craved for his absurd, ham-handed idea.
Fine. Once the chatter dies down over his proposal, it will be time for another.
Something like: “Elected officials in Michigan shall a) demonstrate common sense, b) display a basic understanding of the First Amendment, c) eschew sham legislation … “