Shouldn't Al Gore Know That Everyone Is A Journalist These Days?

from the ban-everyone! dept

Al Gore, who, last we checked had founded a "citizen journalism"-based TV channel and internet site, has apparently told the RSA conference that one of the terms of his keynote speech at the event is that no press are allowed (and no photographs or audio or video recording either). That may have made sense years ago, but in this day and age, where everyone is a "reporter" and everyone has an outlet, it seems rather ridiculous to even think that you can ban "press," let alone make it a clause in a speaking agreement. Last year, the same event drew 17,000 people. You have to figure that a decent number of them have blogs, social networking pages, Twitter accounts and whatnot -- and a very high percentage probably have mobile phones with cameras on them as well (and, of course, it doesn't hurt that CNET appears to be offering to give people a free fleece for taping the event). Sorry, Mr. Vice President, even if you ban them, the press will be attending your talk.

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  1. identicon
    Charming Charlie, 26 Mar 2008 @ 8:44am

    I'm not sure the basis of the original article, or this techdirt post which essentially regurgitates it, is in the right place. They both seem to assume Gore doesn't believe the content of his speech will be repeated outside the doors of the room. Until he's quoted as saying that, I can very easily imagine his ban of the mainstream press is just that, a ban of the mainstream press. Perhaps Gore, since he owns a citizen journalism site, is seeking to buttress those citizen journalism efforts by demonstrating that content can make it out into the world accurately through decentralized means.

    Maybe it's an experiment where he's hoping the evidence is that it creates better news (since the paying attendees will be favorable to his message), or grassroots buzz that too much publicity can sour. I for one, as irrational as it is, don't when my favorite indy groups start being listened to more wildly. I would imagine being a Gore supporter could break down along the same lines, where corporate or media support is damning.

    Finally, just to get to the nitty gritty of the situation, I don't see how it's so impossible to stop recordings of his speech from being made. I suppose with some expensive CIA mics an audience member could record an audio log, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that kind of technology is prohibitively expensive for the average person who would put a speech on the internet; especially one with the technological savvy or connections to disseminate it. Anyone whipping out a digicam to film the speech could be caught by an usher. Really I don't think the interwebz have so permeated our lives that its absurd to think you can't go in a room, close the door, and talk to 17,000 people without ending up on youtube. No bionic eyes, no inter-cranial data arrays.
    So, who said he thinks he’s banning all recordings of the speech? And even if that’s his goal, is it really so ridiculous to think he can achieve it?

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