A Michigan lawmaker wants to license reporters to ensure they’re credible and vet them for “good moral character.”
Senator Bruce Patterson is introducing legislation that will regulate reporters much like the state does with hairdressers, auto mechanics and plumbers. Patterson, who also practices constitutional law, says that the general public is being overwhelmed by an increasing number of media outlets--traditional, online and citizen generated--and an even greater amount misinformation.
Where to start? Let's start with the first amendment which makes our press free. Having the government create a licensing program for journalists would infringe on a free press. Of course, such a program is open to so much potential corruption I wouldn't know where to start.
Let's look at the state of Michigan. It has some of the worst unemployment, budget deficits, and overall economics in the nation. That comes in large part from too much government interference. Michigan has among the largest per capita government officials in the country. In other words, Michigan has far too much government interference as it is. For instance, they often lose automobile plants to the South due to onerous regulations.
Now, Michigan wants to bring that failed formula to news. Of course, we all know what that will do. It will limit news in Michigan. If it's harder to become a reporter in Michigan, there will be less reporters in Michigan. So, along with car companies, newspapers will also have a max exodus from Michigan.