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RE: Journalism a "License to Know"  Angie Boyd
 Dec 13, 2001 20:21 PST 
I read your discussion concerning the "License to know verses the
"License to publish." And frankley I am confused. Perhaps you could
enlighten me and explain to me how one could have the License to Know"
and not automatically have a "License to Publish." A basic freedom to
all citizens is the right to publish. And within certain restrictions
the "right to know." The freedom of information act gives all citizens
the right to know.   

Hanan Cohen wrote:

I was writing a piece today on Cluetrain and then a thought came to my
mind. The difference between ordinary people and journalists is that
journalists have a "license to know". They are trained, employed and
grouped in professional guilds. They are the agents that have a license
to cross the walls of businesses, governments and private people to
bring out information. Having a "license to know" is totally different
than having a "license to publish".

For example, take this story at NUblog "Apple to NUblog: Drop dead"

NUblog asked the PR agency of Apple a simple question. The PR agency
asked NUblog if they have a "License To Know" or in their words, "Are
you working on a story? If so, for what publication? What is your

After a long exchange of Emails between NUblog, the PR agency, NUblog
got this reply from the PR agency : "I am the PR manager for Mac OS X.
We will not be working with you on your request." And after that a
threat that begins with "I find your tone and actions completely
unjustifiable, malicious, slanderous, unprofessional and creating an
extremely serious legal issue for yourself. Further, your request for an

interview was not on behalf of a credentialed publication and therefore,

you have no claim or right to or for a formal interview. An interview
request for an online, non credentialed website and chat room does not
provide you with the same access or rights as a credential media

I think that the question of the "License to Know" is more important to
the Cluetrain discussion than the question of the "License to Publish".

Hanan Cohen
***Love and Peace***
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