Sunday, April 1, 2018

Press Pass Picket - Only Corporate News Need Apply - WTF!

Citizen Free News application for a press pass into the Alberta Legislature has been denied, Only corporate news media can apply.

"The media is hostile to the government" Cheryl Oates, communications director to Premier Rachel Notley, outside the Alberta Legislature on the picket line. 

Mr. Brinkman: We are unable to accept your request to join the Alberta Legislature press gallery. As per our constitution, membership in the gallery is retstricted to those journalists whose principal occupation is reporting, interpreting, editing or analyzing Alberta legislature or provincial government news on a continuing basis who require the use of gallery facilities to fulfil their functions. The legislature is open to members of the public and media. 

Dean Bennett, 
Canadian Press

Response to Mr. Bennett: I don't recognize the authority of your constitution, never seeing a copy, never signing or agreeing to such a document, but I do recognize the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that guarantee's everybody's right to freedom of the press and media. 

Doug Brinkman, 
Citizen Free News Since 2007

June 18, 2018 Counter Proposal
To the Honourable Speaker Robert Wanner, Canadian Press Dean Bennett (President of the Alberta Legislature Press Gallery), Alex McClung (Chief of Staff to the Speaker) and my MLA David Sheppard 

From Doug Brinkman Citizen Free News
Having seen our Alberta Legislature press gallery sit mostly empty during daytime and evening sittings, I'm willing to work with Speaker Robert Wanner's office by using the press gallery only on days where the Corporate news media don't require the entire press gallery seating area such as budget days, first day throne speeches and special events. Willing to wear a suit and tie leaving my Oilers Jersey at home while working inside the press gallery. I would respect and comply to all rules set forth from the Speaker's office. It's time for citizens who report the news to have thier seat in the Alberta Legislature press gallery. A free press means a free Alberta. 

June 18, 2018 Reponse
Mr. Brinkman I'm sorry but I have to say no to your request. Although I appreciate sitting in the gallery is a nuisance and seeing empty chairs on press row can be irritating, I'm heartened by the fact you, and all other Albertans, have unfettered access to legislature chamber proceedings. Sitting in the gallery, however, is more than simply an exercise in switching chairs and putting on a tie. Gallery members have security clearance, and from the press gallery have access to secure areas of the legislature off limits to the general public. As for your underlying argument of inclusion in the press gallery, I reiterate that membership in the gallery is restricted to those journalists whose principal occupation is reporting, interpreting, editing or analyzing Alberta legislature or provincial government news on a continuing basis and who require the use of gallery facilities to fulfill their functions. All the best in your work. Dean Bennett President Alberta Legislature Press Gallery.  

June 19, 2018: To Canadian Press, Press Gallery President Dean Bennett and the Honourable Speaker Robert Wanner. cc Alex McClung and my Edmonton Center MLA David Sheppard cc Paul McLoughin of icloud Emma Graney of Post Media, Michele Bellefontaine of CBC Ezra Levant of The Rebel Media needs to be included in this conversation too. 

Thank you Dean for your quick response... 
I understand and respect your position wanting the Alberta Legislature press gallery applicants to adhere to and uphold the rules of the press gallery constitution. In response It's easy for me to go to the RCMP and obtain security clearance so that should not be a problem. I think the problem might exist for you and your colleagues Dean if I may be frank is that I'm not journalist whose principal occupation is reporting inside the Alberta Legislature for the benefit of profit for your corporate news media employers, profits obtained from your subscribers and advertising revenue earned while influencing political public opinion and criticisms from the vantage point of our Alberta Legislature. 

Instead I do it freely as a citizen news reporter now in my 11 th. year reporting news and information not for profit but for the benefit of informing our community to maintain a free open democratic society. I think that's a problem for you Dean... competition maybe in a news media industry that is at an all time low in trustworthiness and is not turning a profit very easy these day with the competition of social media and independent news journalism. Every news story I've published, over a thousand since 2007, with over a half a million views watched involves interpreting, editing or analyzing from with-in and outside the Alberta legislature on provincial government news and from the news obtained from ordinary Albertans outside the Alberta Legislature during protests, vigils and rallies relating to the business conducted by our Alberta Government. It takes me an average 8 hours of reporting, editing, publishing and I'll add to what's missing in your constitution the act of distribution of that news and information to the public through social media and hard copy print passed out freely during public events, posted inside cafe's, book stores and on city provided kiosks. Citizen free news reporting with the man-hours, equipment, travel costs and materials included are all done freely paid for out of my own pocket and done so for the benefit of news informing the general public, doing my part as a citizen news activist maintaining our free and open society. As I said in my last e-mail Dean, the Canadian Charter and Rights and Freedoms are the rules and guarantees that I respect, uphold and adhere to for myself and others I have defended over the years and this is why I'm currently picketing the Alberta Government indefinitely until my rights and freedoms as a Canadian citizen reporting the news from the Alberta Legislature is honoured and respected by our Alberta Government. The fundamental freedoms of our Canadian Charter includes freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication. Lots to consider here Dean and thank you for including your press colleagues I've watched at work in our Alberta Legislature press gallery from the dark corners of the sometimes closed to the public, public gallery. I'll stop here and hope that we can continue this discussion to find a win win solution for everyone involved. I think the Hon. Speaker Robert Wanner who has the final say about matters like this would rather we resolve this problem among ourselves. Maybe amend the press gallery constitution where no news reporter citizen or professional like yourself Dean is left out from open democracy of news reporting in Alberta, Canada on behalf of all Canadians. 

Attached: ACCREDITATION AND ACCESS IN A CHANGING MEDIA LANDSCAPE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Alberta government found itself at the centre of controversy after it ordered representatives of the online publication The Rebel News Network Ltd. (The Rebel) rejected from two media events in February 2016. The government commissioned this report, asking for a cross-Canada study of practices pertaining to media access and accreditation and for recommendations on its media policies. In the meantime, it said, no one would be excluded from government media events Continued... 

The 2018 Press Pass Picket Continues...
September 11, 2018 Photo by Bernard Hancock

September 10, 2018: From the picket line supporters share thier thoughts on today's news media. YouTube

September 5, 2018 DAY 43 @JustinTrudeau IN TOWN 20 k Downtown, Oliver, AUPE BB-Q & Alberta Legislature - PTL Fort McMurray man and @bernard_YEG Hancock the Roughneck joined me today on my 5 hour build #TransMountain & Citizen Free News Press Pass Picket into OUR #AbLeg @DeanBennettCP @bobwanner

YouTube: Cariwest Festival and My Press Pass Picket in the Rain August 12, 2018: Wet press pass picket day 40. I bought an umbrella and kept my picket close to the front of the NDP and Liberal tents in the midway of the Cariwest festival. The attendance was almost non existent with overcast skies, occasional lighting and steady rain. 

August 8, 2018:#643 Day 39 Press Pass Picket into the Alberta Legislature with Press Privileges. Continued...

Picketing outside & inside the Taste of Edmonton
20, 23, 24, 25 and 27 July , 2018
July 19, 2018: The organizers and security of the Taste of Edmonton reversed it's subjecting me to outside the Taste of Edmonton perimeter. Today I continued my press pass privileges picket, day 33 inside the Taste of Edmonton on the Alberta Legislatures grounds. Taste of Edmonton staff were welcoming and accommodating allowing me to civilly and respectfully hand out information leaflets to patrons during the food fest. I handed out over 100 leaflets this week.

July 18, 2018: See that dome I'm pointing at in this photo? That's our #Ableg! Between here and half way to that Legislature dome is public property that is now leased out and now private property, patrolled by both Sheriffs and a private security firm for the Taste of Edmonton Festival. I can only picket outside the barriers. I confirmed this with a security team. On the picket line I handed out leaflets and received lots of support. 

One man a tourist from Ontario said the wait times for health care is worse in Ontario than in Alberta after reading my picket sign.  

July 17, 2018: There are plenty of #HotAirNews stories shared with and from passerby's at the Alberta Legislature. It seems everyone's got a story about when the corporate news media party did not get thier facts quite right. Press Pass Picket Day 32.

#HotAirNews - Made in Alberta
It was sometime around late May, early June when my friend Abdul and I watched with interest in front of the steps of the Alberta Legislature, a CTV news crew made up of 2 cameramen, 3 producers and an a reporter rehearsing a news story. The camera's were rolling and the reporter said something to the effect "the Government had just adjourned for the summer" "riots are breaking out across Canada in major cities over the Trans-Mountain decision." "The City of Vancouver is joining the fight to stop trans-mountain pipeline" Surprised I said to my friend "the Assembly was still in session?" "Did we miss something on the news this morning", "riots, trans-mountain?"...WTF!
Barack Obama: "I complained plenty about Fox News. But you never heard me threaten to shut them down. Or call them enemies of the people." Obviously the former president Obama has never listened to JFK Addressing The American Newspaper Publishers Association - April 27, 1961

The Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime 

for any citizen to shrink from controversy.

July 9, 2018: Could this be the door that leads into our open and transparent government inside the #Ableg? This door with all the security bells and cameras is the entrance for the News Media Party that tries telling Albertans what to buy through lucrative advertising (my pillow) and who we ought to vote for. The spring session is over during the summer of July and August and into the fall until October. 

May 1, 2018:  Picketing the Alberta Government for a press pass into the press gallery. My 24th day picket I handed out all my hard-copies newsletters on recent news stories published.

March 22, 2018, Joe Ceci's Budget Day 
Public gallery by invitation only and reserved for the overflow of the press. I stayed home and watched Joe's speech on-line.

Alberta Legislature Sheriffs have been advised that my picket for a press pass will continue indefinitely... 

CONSTITUTION ACT, 1982 2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: (a) freedom of conscience and religion; (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication; (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and (d) freedom of association.

(The Charter of Rights and Freedoms) "They don't apply here" (Alberta Legislature) "I do." Sergeant-of-Arms Brian Hodgson June 2016,  Verbal Art Ban YouTube

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