Internet Press Guild
|Formation||April 5, 1996|
The Internet Press Guild (IPG) is an invitation-only, Internet-based professional organization for technology journalists. It was originally formed in 1996 to help generalist, non-technical journalists understand and write about the Web and other Internet technology topics. More recently, it has mainly become an active, private forum for its members to discuss professional topics.
The IPG presents itself as "a professional organization promoting excellence in journalism about the Internet and technology. Critical to the guild is a private mailing list that connects the editors, writers, and analysts in the Internet press community."
As veteran freelance journalist and IPG member Pam Baker put it in 2009:
if you look closely, you’ll find IPG member bylines on nearly every important technology news story told over several decades. … Incompetence isn’t tolerated in this group; the IPG has been known to eat its own.
Now IPG members are outstanding technology writers offered membership by invitation only. Such is issued by the most demanding and exacting of all judges: their most accomplished peers. … Many IPG members hold degrees in technology or science rather than in journalism and/or were programmers, consultants and CIOs before they were writers.
The Guild descended from the USENET group alt.internet.media-coverage. In the mid-1990s, the journalists who relied on the group became frustrated by the disruptive behavior of a few group members. Several members, including Esther Schindler and Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, proposed moving their discussions to an invitation-only email list.
As Pam Baker described it in 2009:
IPG began years ago as alt.internet.media-coverage. As the founders of the group tell it "in response to an infamous net kook who began to alter the signal to noise ratio, the IPG was formed as an invitation-only private mailing list, as happened with a lot of Usenet groups at the time for similar reasons."
On April 5, 1996, the IPG announced its formation in a press release, with the byline of Vaughan-Nichols—now named IPG chairman. In part, the release explained the Guild thus:
Writers, editors, and analysts from around the world are uniting to take a stand against shoddy, inaccurate reporting about the Internet. The Internet Press Guild…is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting accuracy and excellence in reporting on and about the Internet.
The IPG will serve as an information clearinghouse for all the hapless reporters out there who are being told to write about the net, but have no idea where to begin.
The Guild also provides its members the opportunity to interact via an electronic mailing list.
As described by Vaughan-Nichols, the IPG was originally formed to help generalist, non-technical journalists understand and write about the Web and other Internet technology topics. More recently, it has mainly become an active, private forum for its members to discuss professional topics.
The IPG and its members are recipients of the Civil Liberties Award from the ACLU Foundation, as part of the fight to prevent censorship through the ultimately failed Communications Decency Act of 1996.
- Ross Greenberg – a founding member
- Bruce Byfield
- Mary Jo Foley
- Tristan Louis
- Robin "Roblimo" Miller
- Jason Perlow
- Behind The Mainstream Media Veil: Secrets and the Internet Press Guild
- Internet Press Guild Formed—press release
- Wheaton, James (November 25, 1996). "CDA Award". Interesting People (Mailing list). Retrieved February 23, 2017.