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.


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