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It’s overdue. Most important jobs that involve the public have standards — not any old schlemiel can be a brain surgeon or a cosmetologist, you know. A federal credential would not only ensure reporters are vetted so they’re fair and accurate, it would make it easier to deal with those who practice journalism in unorthodox ways.
For example: At many public events, there’s a space for the journalists, so you know who’s reporting on the event; they have tags around their neck, indicating they are legitimate.
But some people think they can just flout the rules and write about something without the necessary tags, and so you get stories like this:
A Donald Trump campaign staffer and a private security guard removed a POLITICO reporter from a campaign rally here on Thursday evening for reporting at the event without the campaign’s permission.
A campaign staffer spotted the reporter typing on a laptop outside of the press pen at the San Jose Convention Center and asked the reporter, who was attending on a general admission ticket, if he had press credentials. The Trump campaign has refused to credential the reporter for multiple events.
That’s how it should be, right? It’s obvious this guy was trying to write something about the campaign, and permission had not been granted. He didn’t get the message. If you don’t have the proper laminated badge around your neck, what makes you think you can write about something?
It would make it easier to do something about those James O’Keefe types, too. They shouldn’t be allowed to do that.