Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Vital Public Meeting - "Are you Media?"

On Friday the 1st of May at 9.30 am there is a meeting of PPC (Privileges and Procedures Committe) that is of vital interest to all Bloggers and Journalists and those interested in political matters and freedom of expression.

The meeting is open to the public and takes place in Le Capelain room of the States building (Royal Square main entrance). You can watch and listen but cannot speak or make video recordings of the proceedings.

On the agenda is the question "what are media?" and this arises as a direct result of our Blogging activities as "The Voice".

If the PPC decides on a definition of "media" that seeks to exclude Bloggers or other so called "non accredited Journalists" the implications could be very far reaching and damaging.

Of course the meeting has not been advertised and we only discovered it by chance and we have only had a few days to prepare our written submission in response to the Goverment's paper, which as far as we know has not been circulated to anybody else, whether press, Bloggers or the general public.

Once again, Free Speech and Expression are under threat in Jersey. The cosy relationship of the established press with the Jersey government has been upset by Bloggers like us and others who dare to challenge the status quo.

If you have the time we urge you to attend the meeting but if not you can contact your elected "representatives" and especially the members of PPC who are;

Constable Juliette Gallichan of St Mary (Chairman)
Senator Ian Le Marquand
Deputy Ben Fox
Deputy Judith Martin
Deputy Collin Egre
Deputy Montford Tadier
Deputy Mike Higgins


Citizens' Media said...

Accredited media?I've no doubt that the establishment are keen to have the term apply only to the BBC, the JEP and the independent broadcasters CTV and Channel 103 - in an effort to stop bloggers showing up their occasional incompetences (or heaven forbid, actual corruption... surely that doesn't happen in this charming isle?!)

Some of our politicians are keen to say that they only talk to 'accredited media' when trying to avoid the lens of 'Team Voice' Neil's camcorder. So what does accredited mean? Take a look at the definition,, and ask yourself if any of those meanings can actually apply to the broadcasters and press mentioned above in preferance to Citizen's Media? I don't see how it can.... but... if it does... purely based upon the size of the organisations involved and the staff paid to produce their output, where would that leave a free newspaper (several of which have come and gone over the years in Jersey), or the number of glossy magazines still published from time to time locally? They seem like media to me. What about the states-funded Consumer Rights publications that pop onto our doormats now and then to tell us where to get the cheapest petrol?

It can't be defined as depending upon the size of the circulation or audience. What about whether it's money-making or not? No... even charity publications or parish newsletters still seem to be 'media' to me, regardless of any revenue or the contributors being paid. Just because the BBC is funded by the hapless licence payers of the nation, CTV and Channel 103 make a profit for their shareholders by selling advertising, and likewise so do the JEP with the added benefit of getting the punters to actually pay for the paper as well... that is no guarantee that any given standard of reporting is being met, or that the reporters or proprietors are qualified for their profession.

So if 'accredited' is meaningless, let's hop back to that handy web resource to see what 'media' means, - "Channels of communication that serve many diverse functions, such as offering a variety of entertainment with either mass or specialized appeal, communicating news and information, or displaying advertising messages".

There we have it - it's all about publication; and that's exactly what the internet provides. A blog, being the high tech version of a communal noticeboard, allows publication of content to whatever audience makes the effort to access it. It is media, whether politicians with something to hide like it or not. It makes no difference whether it's on a computer screen or printed out and handed out to passers by in King Street. It's still a publication... and if they insist upon clinging to their safey word 'accredited' then let's have the definition please, because it should be very interesting to see if they can come up with one.

Anonymous said...

Good luck for today team voice and to all bloggers.

Dan Marsh said...

A couple of points...

There were bloggers present as official press at the G20 Summit 2009.

Number 10 publishes videos by Gordon Brown on YouTube.

The world has changed, only fools would think that they can hold back the incoming tide!