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California Blogger Denied Press Credential

By None:

Frank D. Russo runs the California Progress Report, a blog that covers California politics and policy -- with multiple, detailed, journalistic posts every day.

He applied for a press credential - critical for in-depth coverage of the Legislature - but the Capitol Correspondents Assocation denied him... because his journalism doesn't provide him 50% of his income.

Like many bloggers, his blog doesn't have much revenue - which makes this rule an explicit prohibition on bloggers. Cue Frank:

What's curious is that under the "new rules" that are supposed to "integrate bloggers" into this quasi public club, it is not really opening the door wide enough for me to get in. It protects the mainstream press, assuming they are still paying their reporters and opinion writers to practice their craft. But as the owner of a start up business (The California Progress Report), despite my putting in more than the normal work week publishing this site, I've had more in expenses than I have had income.

Of course, this raises the question -- if income rules are the name of the game, shouldn't all reporters disclose their sources of income? Here's what Bill Cavala, posting on CPR, had to say about it:

Which raises the question of whether Press Corps members – like public officials – shouldn’t be required to disclose their sources of income publicly? Public officials make such disclosure because they control pieces of the government and the public has a right to know to whom (besides themselves) officials might have an obligation toward because of money. If the Press Corps controls access to lawmakers not enjoyed by all, shouldn’t the public know who they are beholden to as well?

Seems to me that they're going to have to figure out another way to qualify access.

(Full disclosure: The California Progress Report is a client of Mandate Media.)