Internet Content Coal. bars press from "news rating" mtg on 8/28

Declan McCullagh declan at
Tue Aug 26 08:10:53 PDT 1997

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 26 Aug 1997 07:58:10 -0700 (PDT)
From: Declan McCullagh <declan at>
To: fight-censorship-announce at
Subject: Internet Content Coal. bars press from "news rating" mtg on 8/28

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 1997 17:53:24 -0400
From: Vin Crosbie <crosbie at>
Subject: ICC bars the press -- irony?

Does anyone besides me find it both humorous and sad that this week's
meeting of the Internet Content Coalition, during which it will likely
discuss its proposal to rate or label which websites offer 'news', will be
closed to the press?

Does no one else find an unfortunate irony that editorial organizations
such as MSNBC, CMP, Playboy, AdWeek, and C/NET are meeting behind closed
doors to discuss their proposal about why or how to label or rate which
websites are deemed to offer 'news'?

After all, why bother discussing a controversial issue in public, in the
light of day? Why should these editorial organizations live by the standard
with which they judge others?

Would they object if other groups or bodies were barring them from
reporting on a meeting to discuss a proposal to rate or label whether they
offer 'news' content? I think so.

>"This is an off-the-record meeting, where New Media editors can discuss
>openly and freely, and where we hope to reach a consensus on moving
>forward. It is not open to the press," said James Kinsella, general
manager of
>MSNBC in an e-mail message. 
quotes Editor & Publisher magazine's website. 

Yes, I'm sure that ICC members will feel more free to discuss controversial
issues if their meeting is closed to the press. Meetings that are closed to
the press are often run more efficiently and can reach concensus more
quickly. Just ask any government official, bureaucrat, corporate or special
interest executive, or dictator. They'll verify these practical advantages
for keeping press out.

I realize that the ICC is a private organization. It can do what it wants,
including barring the press. But isn't it funny how the 'news'
organizations involved plan to bar other 'news' organization so that they
can discuss whether or not to deem who offers 'news'?

Shame on all involved.

Vin Crosbie                              crosbie at

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