Radio & Television News Association

Sunday, April 30, 2006

RTNA's Response to Attempted Media Access Restriction

On Saturday April 29 2006 Oscar Sanchez, presumably one of the organizers of the May 1 illegal alien protest, sent a message to media members requesting that they apply for special "credentials" to cover the event.

RTNA's legal counsel, Mr. Royal Oakes, responded with the following message:


Mr. Sanchez –

I’m General Counsel to the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California. The reporters who cover Monday’s events have already been credentialed in the sense that they have been issued press passes by the LAPD and/or the LASD. I’m sure the journalists would appreciate any assistance you can provide to assist in orderly communications with event organizers and participants, but journalists are entitled to access as provided by law, and by their law enforcement-issued press passes. Your proposal for credentialing is not clear, not feasible given the time frame involved, and cannot legally interfere with journalists exercising their right to cover the news.

Nonetheless, if you would like to discuss your plans and possibly clarify the arrangements you have in mind, please feel free to e-mail Mr. Terrell or me, and if you like, let us know how we can reach you by phone.

Royal Oakes


RTNA would like to remind all journalists that members of the public may NOT restrict access of the media in public places. If you ever feel that your First Amendment rights are being compromised, please bring it up with the RTNA so that we may look into it.

Attempted Restriction of Media Access at May 1 Assembly

On April 29 2006 Oscar Sanchez, presumably one of the organizers of the May 1 illegal alien protest, sent this message to members of the media:

Media outlets interested in covering Monday's march starting at
Olympic Boulevard and Broadway are asked to request credentials by sending an e-mail to Oscar Sanchez at
The credential will grant access to speakers for interviews and parking, Sanchez says. The space is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The credential request must include the name of the company and person making the request, his or her title, telephone number and e-mail address, equipment being brought and approximate space needed. All vehicles being driven to the event and their license plates should also be included. The deadline to request credentials is 9 p.m. Sunday.

Members of the public may NOT restrict the media' access to events held in a public place. After discussion the RTNA decided to have our legal counsel, Mr. Royal Oakes, send a message to Mr. Sanchez. Mr. Oakes' message is shown above.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

New Policy for Subpeona of Journalists

From the Associated Press:

(AP) The Securities and Exchange Commission announced a new policy on subpoenaing journalists Wednesday, responding to controversy over the agency's demands for records from three online columnists.

The policy adopted by Chairman Christopher Cox and the other four SEC commissioners calls for the agency to avoid issuing subpoenas ``that might impair the news gathering and reporting functions.''

On a case-by-case basis, the agency must try to strike a balance between two public interests, the policy says: the free flow of information and effective enforcement of securities laws. SEC attorneys must first try to exhaust other means and sources of information in an investigation before turning to media subpoenas.

In late February, after news reports had appeared about the SEC serving subpoenas for records on columnists for MarketWatch and Dow Jones Newswires in an investigation, Cox took the unusual step of halting the agency's pursuit of the subpoenas. He said that SEC enforcement attorneys should have consulted him because of the sensitivity of ordering journalists to hand over records.