So far as I am aware, there has been little pressure from bloggers for access to the Westminster lobby. I've repeatedly said that I don't want a lobby pass and I can't really see why most other bloggers would. Most of us comment rather than report. I can see why ConHome, LabourList or LibDem Voice might want one, but for individuals whose blogs centre around comment I just can't see what the advantage would be. I have absolutely no interest in attending lobby briefings.
The rules seem to be designed to prevent unaffiliated individuals from gaining a pass anyway. George Parker, the chairman of the press gallery told PR Week...
'The general criteria we would agree with is that the person applying for the pass should be a proper journalist with a track record of journalism; that they should be operating for a respectable news organisation or website with a reasonably large number of subscribers or viewers; and that they should be using the pass for the purposes of journalism, rather than coming in and commenting on stuff.'
That's fairly loose criteria. What constitutes 'respectable'? What constitutes a 'reasonably large number' of readers? It's interesting that Parker chooses to differentiate between reporting and comment. I wonder if an online sketchwriter would be eligible.