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Not to disparage the serious points that you make in this article, to me, the credentialling effort is doomed. All that is needed is a "Universal Life" Press for which anyone would be allowed to write and obtain credentials--or maybe just obtain credentials.
If a degree is required, then we could invent the Universal Life College. There are plenty of precedents for diploma mills, and who's to say that the journalism department at Universal Life College is not accredited? And, who does the accrediting?
Think of the questions that any regulatory credentialling apparatus would have to address:
1. Does electronic publishing, such as Slate, count as a medium to qualify journalists?2. In determining types of publications eligible to establish credibility, how does one distinguish between a well-put-together web site and one that looks just like a blogspot that anyone can contribute to?3. Are high-school or college students in journalism departments journalists even though they have not received their degrees? If I take a one-hour course at my local community college, would that qualify me if college students are qualified in that manner?4. If I'm required to show an income from my journalism profession, how much constitutes an income? If I volunteer to write in an unpaid capacity for a legitimate journal, however defined, am I excluded from getting a journalism credential?5. If I contribute an article unpaid to, say, the Botswana Gay Times or the Soweto, South Africa, Register, does that qualify me as a journalist? Do I have to document the printing of such an article?6. Does this comment I'm writing count toward making me a jouralist?7. If it were to appear as an op-ed piece, would it count?
The possibilities and questions are endless.
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