No word on launch date for “legitimate legislator” registry

According to Michigan State Sen. Bruce Patterson’s new bill, it’s impossible to be a “legitimate” journalist if you are a student. Patterson introduced SB 1323 to the Michigan Senate on May 11, which would let “legitimate journalists” register through a state board, much like a cosmetologist or real estate appraiser.

One requirement for registration is that the applicant to the certification board has no less than three years of reporting experience and must possess a journalism degree or a degree deemed equivalent by the board – a requirement that student journalists cannot meet. The bill does not exclude unregistered individuals from practicing journalism.

According to a column in The Toledo Blade, Patterson said he didn’t think the bill would pass and intended only to “stimulate discussion.”

“I thought I’d put it out there and if there was any support from your profession, we’d move forward. Heck, I thought it might be helpful to legitimate journalists,” Patterson said.

The bill states that applicants must “be of good moral character and demonstrate, by a signed statement, knowledge of any acceptable industrywide [sic] ethics standards acceptable to the board.”

Since its introduction, the bill has been referred to the Committee on Economic Development and Regulatory Reform, where it awaits its fate.

The day when licenses would have to be renewed every year? April Fool’s Day. Is the joke on student journalists?