Accreditation a prickly concept

The accreditation issue appeared in our Town Hall this week, after Quebec journalists overwhelming backed a proposal to create a special designation for professional journalists. In a world where accreditation is routinely used by authorities to silence us, it’s a prickly concept for journalists to embrace. Still, the increasingly wide constellation of media outlets and reporters has led some journalists to question who gets in, and who doesn’t. While some argue non-traditional journalists are no threat to the profession, others call for gatekeepers. The debate surfaced in Canada at the Olympics and the G8/G20. What to do? In 2008, a committee of Nova Scotia judges and journalists called on the courts to begin accrediting court journalists. Would judges have allowed ex-prostitutes to cover sex crime trials? We’ll never know. The accreditation plan was abandoned in less than two months.