Late last week, I wrote about an email received by Dr. Roy regarding his interest in covering the upcoming Liberal convention as a blogger. He received a response from the Liberal Party stating that,
Media Accreditation is open to recognized news organizations. Freelance and social media representatives must be sponsored by a recognized news organization.
In other words, freelancers and bloggers must be “sponsored” by the MSM. After republishing his email, with his permission, I took to twitter to raise awareness of how this was an unprecedented move on behalf of any modern mainstream North American political party.
The issue caused quite a stir on twitter, with Liberal partisans, MSM journalists, and others criticizing the Liberal Party for their policy. But then, in the midst of the stir, seeking to perhaps clarify, the Liberals issued this tweet,
I took this as a positive sign, yet still questioned whether or not a policy change had been enacted by the Liberals. So, I emailed their media address with the following,
I hope that you have indeed changed your policy as I would love to join you at your convention as a media-credentialed blogger. Can you confirm if this is possible?
Here are my details:
Name: Stephen Taylor
Blog: Stephen Taylor – a blog on Canadian politics
Here is the response I received today,
Thank you for your interest in attending the Ottawa 2012 – Liberal Biennial Convention.
There are many ways to attend the Convention. We are encouraging everyone to attend as a delegate or an observer, and hope you will join us in that capacity. To learn more about how to become an observer, please visit our Convention website: https://www.liberal.ca/register-convention/.
As well, freelance and social media representatives who are sponsored by a recognized news organization can complete the Media Accreditation form, that will be posted to our site closer to the Convention date, and attach a letter of assignment.
There it is. No policy change.
For reference, here are some of the tweets from all walks condemning this move,
This tweet, which I used to raise awareness of the issue was retweeted 78 times,
UPDATE: For a matter of comparison, here was the CPC policy for bloggers during their last convention,
Deadline for Blogger Registration May 27, 2011
Conservative Party of Canada recognizes the growing importance of bloggers in sending our vision to Canadians. As a result, for the 2011 Conservative Party of Canada’s National Policy Convention we will be formally accrediting bloggers.
The accreditation of bloggers will be based on, but not limited to: interest; space availability at the convention; the readership and influence of a blog; and the amount of original content the blog typically generates.
Bloggers who would like to register for accreditation must submit a request by email to Fred DeLorey, Director of Communications for the Conservative Party of Canada at email@example.com
UPDATE: Jeff Jedras writes a great post on this
UPDATE: LPC Presidential candidate Mike Crawley weighs in,