Quebec’s Culture Minister, Christine St-Pierre, announced this week that she is pushing forward with a plan to create “a new model of regulation of Quebec media.” Public consultations on the project will be held across Quebec this fall.
Key to the plan would be legislation establishing the “status of professional journalist” in order to distinguish those committed to “serving the public interest” from “amateur bloggers.” It is proposed that state-recognized professional journalists would enjoy unspecified “advantages or privileges” not available to the great unwashed.
La Presse reported that one of the privileges Ms. St-Pierre has in mind is “better access to government sources.” A consultation document published Monday asks: “Should the status of professional journalist be accompanied by privileges for the journalists as well as the companies that hire them? If yes, which [privileges]?”
The government says it does not want to prevent anyone from practicing journalism. But it would create a separate class of journalists, who in exchange for their new privileges would have to respect certain criteria, yet to be defined. The new status would not be awarded directly by the state but by organizations representing journalists.
National Post, Graeme Hamilton: “Quebec seeks special status for select journalists”.