Michael Dresser of The Baltimore Sun (who is greatly missed from his days as a transit/transportation writer for them before he went to the government beat) writes about new rules from the Maryland Republican Party related to media credentials (which I've excerpted at the bottom of this post.)
There are several questionable things in there, but the thing that stood out to me, besides Dresser's headline, was the credentialing rules as they relate to bloggers.
Basically, the rules show laziness by letting other credentialing bodies do all the work. Additionally, there seems to be an attempt to shut out bloggers.
This is still 2013 right? I recently attended CPAC 2013 as a blogger and I was seated in the same media area as all of the traditional media and had a pass that said Media. Values Voter Summit has had bloggers in with traditional media for years also. In addition to that, many of the Republican primary events and other election events had bloggers and media using the same credential and being in the same area.
Some of the best coverage of the MD GOP's foibles recently have been from bloggers like Jackie Wellfonder, Joe Steffen, Richard Cross, Red Maryland, Jim Jamitis, and others. I even blogged about one of their screwups. This would appear to be a pathetic attempt to reign in those bloggers. It won't work and the current MD GOP leadership now has egg on their faces.
Not only are they attempting to control their media coverage by shutting out bloggers, they are also appearing to be ignorant (at best) and just plain dumb (at worst) about how the media cycle works today. If they don't want to credential bloggers, there will still be bloggers or people on Twitter commenting at these events who pay to get in.
Additionally, the Pathfinders program for the MD GOP has a social media workshop coming up. Are they going to help train people to use social media and blogs for activism properly? Can you expect anything good to come out of a social media workshop by a party that is so pigheaded and stupid that they are shutting out bloggers from party events?
Additionally, I bet the party leadership will still complain about the MSM (not a fan of this term, usually say traditional media) coverage, or lack thereof, of party events and news in the future when this policy is in place. Conservative bloggers could help, but will they when they are shown disrespect like this?
I guess all we can hope for now is for Greg Kline to be elected Chairman and reverse this stupidity.
From the rules:
In order to attend MARYLAND REPUBLICAN PARTY’s meeting and events, or obtain free copies of publications as a journalist, you must be a credentialed member of the media.
MARYLAND REPUBLICAN PARTY retains the right to grant media passes to print journalist (newspapers, magazine), broadcast journalism (radio or television), wire and news services for redistribution to other news organizations, or online new services (electronic dissemination rather than conventional print and broadcast distribution).
MARYLAND REPUBLICAN PARTY will recognize journalists who have obtained credentials from a capitol press corps, official press organization or the U.S. Congress.
MARYLAND REPUBLICAN PARTY will not allow journalists to register as “media” for the purpose of writing a personal online blog, or for persons whose news outlet is funded by a corporation; trade association; think-tank; public relations or marketing company/firm; individual; political candidate/party; or activist/lobbying organization. These individuals may still attend MARYLAND REPUBLICAN PARTY’s meetings, but must register as an association, lobbying group or individual and pay the corresponding registration fees.
Cross-posted at The Quinton Report.