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Register beards CeBIT spinmeisters on online press ban

They've got a little list of approved sites, apparently...

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CeBIT 2000 As politely as we could, and regretting any note of sarcasm, The Register asked the CeBIT organisers at their press conference about online journalist accreditation. We sensed our question was not welcome, especially with the cameras rolling and the media licking their pencils. "You say that the most dynamic part of the industry is the Internet," we said, "but you have a policy of refusing press facilities to online journalists. The Register is the premier IT news Web site in Europe. Are you going to change your policy?" Erberhard Roloff, the press chief, answered for the gang of three Deutsche Messe officials. ""It's a canard," he said. "It's online media that are not accredited, not online journalists." We marvelled at this truly Jesuitical response, and listened intensely. Thousands of people want to get in as journalists because they have something on the Web, Roloff explained. The Messe decides who will get in as journalists. We check websites, and will be producing a list of approved Web sites. It was most important work, he claimed. Roloff did say that he would be consulting exhibitors about his list of approved online sites - and we hope he means all 7,800. The reason Roloff gave for the intransigence towards online journos was that in the past some had apparently pestered exhibitors to take advertising space on their Web sites. We didn't point out that it was the other way round at The Register. Nor did we take the time to explain that even worse might be true: print media, in their enthusiasm of course, might just tell vendors that a good product review could be put alongside an advertisement, to help their readers to find out how to buy the product, naturally. It will also be interesting to see if next year there is a better statement of the CeBIT policy towards online journos. But let's be clear: we have no desire to find access to the press bar blocked by hordes of amateurs. ® CeBIT 2000: Full Coverage

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