Monday, February 22, 2010

I Don't Want a Lobby Pass, Thanks

I've just been belatedly reading this week's copy of PR Week. Other bloggers have mentioned the article of the front page by David Singleton which appears to suggest that bloggers are set to be eligible for Westminster lobby passes.

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.

13 comments:

trevorsden said...

'respectable' journalist ?

Ho ho ho ...

myob said...

Problem with you and Guido is you started off being a relatively quiet voice revealling what was happening that the press didn't cover.

Now you're both mainstream you spend too much time wittering on about details such as this, shameless self promotion and other assorted rubbish.

Afraid, as a long time reader of both your blogs i'm losing interest and find that mirrored in my inability to find one party worthy of support this GE. It wasn't a problem in the past but feel the system is broken and you, with your attempt to stand endorse it. Guido just promotes himself to placate his ego.

Sad times.

myob said...

Problem with you and Guido is you started off being a relatively quiet voice revealling what was happening that the press didn't cover.

Now you're both mainstream you spend too much time wittering on about details such as this, shameless self promotion and other assorted rubbish.

Afraid, as a long time reader of both your blogs i'm losing interest and find that mirrored in my inability to find one party worthy of support this GE. It wasn't a problem in the past but feel the system is broken and you, with your attempt to stand endorse it. Guido just promotes himself to placate his ego.

Sad times.

Neil Ward said...

Mr dale you were on the money with your scoop regarding PM Brown's chilcot appearance.

Who exactly will decide the criteria for giving lobby passes to bloggers let me guess the government of the day be that labour or conservatives.

Michael Heaver said...

I take what you say Iain, but I think the likes of Guido would raise merry hell if he could mill around the lobby all day, which would be lots of fun.

Tom @ Tired of London said...

You'd get free office space as well though wouldn't you? That would save you a few bob.

Hawkeye said...

Martin Bright (see this article at The Speccie) has been having a good blub about Lobby Passes ever since he found out that he is not as high up Labour's list of "The Great & The Good" as Charlie Whelan.

They'll give these passes to anyone. "Respectable"? Who needs it?

el-sid said...

"What constitutes 'respectable'?"

= Not Guido

:-)

Matt Wardman said...

I'd see this as a first chink in the wall.

If we get wider access for non-Westminster-Village bloggers - say for local and specialist types, I'd see a significant opportunity for dissolving the boundaries for "access", as has started to happen with online media.

It's just a straw in the wind, though.

The Yorkshire Terrorist said...

You have a pass for Parliament anyway, so you get the benefit of the subsidised bars without having to share an office with Michael White.

Old Holborn said...

I want one

I've just placed an order for 646 stink bombs, a whooppee cushion a some fake spiders

the fun I could have in an afternoon in there

Si said...

You fail to mention that you have a pass from an MP! So you've already achieved the main benefit - access.

darrellgoodliffe said...

I think your pretty bang-on not wanting one. As you imply its kind of contra to the spirit of blogging (which like you say, is more about comment than news creation as such) and it is riddled with problems to give bloggers access to the lobby. Not just the ones you raise but it would create 'two-tier' blogging potentially. I'm glad you dont want one....