AP Highlights Issues Of Blogger Safety; says ‘ignore dangerous journalists’
Once upon a time there were no bloggers.
By Gwendolyn L. Spelvin
NEW YORK, NY – International news outlet Associated Press released today a set of guidelines to protect their most coveted bloggers from dangers in the field interacting with journalists, arguing their initial ones outlined back in 2010 were arguably poorly conceived and not enough to protect them from dangerous ideals and rhetoric journalists bombard them with.
AP Vice President John Daniszewski was bombarded by bloggers with questions at the UNESCO press conference, whose theme this year addresses the problem directly. After settling the crowd down, Daniszewski released an official statement directed to blogger and media professionals into solutions for what is considered an industry crisis.
“News agencies have been living through a crisis in blogger safety. In 2015, over 500 bloggers were coerced into joining journalism unions and getting press credentials to solidify fiscal compensation. And too many have been told news outlets need to fiscally compensate their reporting expenses for stories outside of copy and credit. Global news coverage would not be so diverse today if not for the evolutionary climb to blogging. As vice president of international news for The Associated Press, I have witnessed a growing impunity for journalists against dedicated bloggers, vloggers, and the like who work every day to deliver the news to trillions around the globe. No longer do we need writers on salary to us and other large news organizations, but in most cases contractible practitioners: freelance and local bloggers trying to get their post count up. My frustration and anger has only grown to see that in many cases it is not only instigating journalists and their lawyers carrying out these acts of tyranny against our bloggers, but sometimes journalism unions acting on behalf of their people – people that are pledged to them, pay dues to them, and act as if they are obligated under labor laws to interfere with our business. Often these same groups will state that unpaid internships or copy and credit in non-compensation for their work strains industry credulity. They priced themselves out of the market wanting a living wage and now their chickens have come home to roost and laid us new eggs. Whether by choice, option, assignment, or contract, the crimes taking place against bloggers have become far too common. They have become normalized. That is part of the reason that in late 2014 an idea for an agreed set of safety initiatives and announced to the world last year with all major news organizations and freelance groups supporting them as charter signatories. By now, more than a couple hundred news and blogger organizations around the world have signed on to these principles. But what I want to say at this forum is that it is not enough. Bloggers have to work among themselves to steer the journalist cancer cluster away from them. But unless governments and organizations recommit themselves to corporate media for a corporate world, all the talk among the bloggers will only help at the margins. What is needed is for governments to work hard and eliminate relic journalists altogether; to create an environment where the role of a blogger is protected in accordance with the international standard for contract work. Furthermore, we need bloggers to hold account other bloggers who support journalism interference in our business. The aim that we all share is to create a culture of safety for bloggers without zany notions of fiscal expression and top tier credit. It can only occur if bloggers fulfill their proper role, alongside other media professionals and private groups, and all those who believe in the importance of oversaturation.”
Other news leaders have been publicly vocal on the need to eradicate journalists worldwide; plagiarism scandals of Jayson Blair and Fareed Zakaria severely crippled their publications credibility beyond repair and compromised their financial holdings. In light of this, news leaders tort bloggers give more efficient reporting while shouldering the burden and blame of accurate reporting independent of the news agencies.
Respected bloggers addressed the UNESCO conference in support of the new regulations, stating bloggers should demand the right to work without the threat or peril of bullying from journalists. Journalists, however, were none too pleased at what they consider to be an industry wide attack on their credibility.
As such, journalist organizations around the world have united as one governing body to address all fronts they feel are attacking them from making a living. While they feel bloggers are impeding in their territory, they are sympathetic to them being used as pawns against them.
In an official united statement, the journalist associations unanimously conclude “The united journalist association front is being forced out of an industry we built so news organizations can cheat labor laws and diminish our wages without intervention. There needs to be checks and balances for protecting journalists, one that makes industry wide undercutting pay a crime against humanity.”