Presseausweis For a New Era of Journalism


In the pre-internet age, the "press" mostly consisted of dedicated, full-time professionals, who worked for major newspapers, wire services, magazines, or network news organizations. Now, with the multitude of sites that allow people to share their take on current events widely and instantly, theoretically anyone with a blog and a laptop can call themselves a journalist. Today, readers have a vast array of news sources to choose from, which has spurred greater creativity and given voice to a far wider variety of opinions. However, the expansion of the journalism field beyond the traditional press corps of traditional news reporting creates new challenges for credentialing reporters, which is still critical to ensure the security at public events that these journalists may be covering.

Even though many of the old traditions of reporting the news are slowly fading away, the need for a secure international presseausweis credentials remains. Given the changing landscape of journalism though, it needs to be flexible enough to allow people who may not have in the recent past been considered true journalists can still get press passes if they demonstrate their expertise and professionalism in news reporting. One of the barriers that individuals outside of the mainstream news establishment face to getting a press pass is that the passes are often issued by journalist organizations that are heavily dominated by trade unions. These groups have an incentive to protect their members by only issuing credentials to full time representatives of major news outlets, which shuts out part time journalists, freelancers, and bloggers. Alternatives to these established organizations are arising though to accommodate the face of international news journalism. International press organizations are issuing press passes to a wide range of self-employed journalists who are not affiliated with a major news organizations. Even the large legacy news outfits are changing their business model, increasingly relying on outsourcing their reporting to part time freelance writers.

While the need for freeing "the new journalists" from the domination of more traditional news outlets is necessary as the way the news gets reported continues to change, the liberalization of credentialing also needs to be balanced with security. Security at public events, particularly those where notable business and government leaders gather, is getting tighter as global security threats persist. If getting a press pass is too easy, individuals who mean to disrupt public gatherings with violence may gain preferential access to those events. However, new organizations that have recently earned the privilege of issuing press passes have had to pass rigorous reviews, and hopefully can be expected to protect that privilege by carefully screening the professionals that they issue passes to. On the other hand, in order to protect the freedom and independence of the press journalists should not be denied access because they report a controversial viewpoint, even those that seem extreme to many.