Man, sometimes I feel like all I do around here is walk the mutts around the block so they can poop. I'm the Head of State, fergodssake. But hey, a large part of my job involves keeping others - and they're all freaking dogs, damn it - on a tight leash.
We've seen how to keep artists on a tight leash. And we've discussed keeping NGOs on a tight leash too. We've discussed keeping your generals jumping. And we've discussed keeping foreigners on their toes.
When it comes to journalists and the press, you need to not only keep them on a tight leash, you need to keep the "no barking electroshock collar" pressed tight against their throats (we've discussed already how they're all terrorists anyway, so by keeping their mouths shut you're basically doing the whole world a favor).
Shout out to my buddies in Kazakhstan, where they've obliged journalists to sign a code of conduct. That's really a spectacular idea. Thing is, journalism is inherently subjective. You don't want your journalists to go off the deep end with crazy stories, wild accusations, and worse. So rope them in, and then walk them around the block.
Here's the trick: the hell with their education, even if they are writers they don't write very well. And you're a great writer. So why not just write the code of conduct yourself and just have them sign it? Sure, they'll bitch and moan and want to change it, but what do they know? If they were smart like you, they'd be the president, instead of flunkies with laptops. So write it the way you know you want it to be, and just hand it to them. "Here is the agreement, flunkies. You are free to leave this building when you've signed it, and will stay here right up to the moment you do so. Any questions?
Sometimes I'm so clever, I scare myself. "Hey journos, I've got out the leash. Do you want to go for a walk, boy? Huh? Do ya? Do ya? Sit boy. Siiiiiiiit. Good boy, here's your biscuit."