Quebec Culture Minister Christine St-Pierre's heart may have been in the right place when she endorsed the Payette report and all that it implies, writes Klaus Pohle in the Montreal Gazette, but there are still a number of reasons why she's wrong.

Quebec Culture Minister Christine St-Pierre's heart may have been in the right place when she endorsed the Payette report and all that it implies, writes Klaus Pohle in the Montreal Gazette, but there are still a number of reasons why she's wrong.

First, he writes, "regulation creates a hierarchy of citizens and journalists. Journalists have always been seen as citizens first, journalists second." The regime, he adds, would create a privileged class of journalists, unlikely, in his opinion, to withstand a charter challenge.

The second problem is even more vexing, writes Pohle: How would we ever separate a run-of-the-mill journalist from a "professional" journalist?

Many journalists like to think that they’re part of a profession. To be sure, many conduct themselves professionally, but many do not. The fact is that journalism is not a profession and, under the present circumstances, never will be. Unlike physicians and lawyers, for example, journalists lack the requirements usually associated with a profession. It may not even be a trade in the conventional sense, given that plumbers and electricians, for example, must be licensed. The point is that anybody can call himself or herself a journalist without restriction. And that’s the way it should be.

You can read the rest of Pohle's article on the Gazette site.

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