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Minnesota Senate passes credentials reform, opens floor to bloggers

Update: You can read the full rules here [pdf].

Update: You can read the full rules here [pdf]. The pertinent section is 16, beginning on page 9.

Just a few minutes ago, the Minnesota Senate passed media-credentialing reform that will open the floor to a wider array of journalists, including bloggers. I was part of the task force that came up with these new procedures; you can read my reasoning here. If they don’t work, you know where to find me.

Mitch Berg, my rightblogger colleague on the task force, claims:

… the Minnesota Senate will have the most transparent, open and non-partisan media process of any state government body in the United States. Literally — there are a few legislatures that are in the same ballpark (Montana springs to mind) but there are none better.

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I haven’t really done that research, but I’m really happy about several things in the policy, which primarily governs session-long floor privileges.

Credentialing will be handled by nonpartisan staff, who may not consider a journalist’s viewpoint when assessing applications. Rejections (if any) will be made in writing, and there’s now a formal appeals process with deadlines. The trickiest question — who is a journalist? — is answered objectively: three pieces of work (in any medium) on legislative matters in the previous year.

The document in my previous post has been hammered into legalese; the Senate will post the final policy later today and I’ll update with link then. By the way, the vote on the permanent rules, including the media policy, was 57-5.