Radio & Television News Association

Thursday, January 11, 2007

LAPD Press Passes: Update

As you may know by now, the police department has agreed to wait another year before taking on a revamp of its credentialing process for press passes. This is in large part due to pressure from the Radio-TV News Association. As President ,I have worked with our legal counsel Royal Oakes to let the department know that the media insists on being part of this vetting process.We began contacting Media Relations when examples emerged of arbitrary and capricious decisions to deny renewals for some members of LA's working press.

Now, the time has come for you to step up to the plate. As leaders of the Press Club, SPJ, and the Press Photographers, we need you to come up with your own statement of what defines a working journalist requiring and LAPD Press Pass.

In its renewal process,the department has been saying it will adhere closely to an L-A ordinance drafted in the 1970's which strictly limits credentials to those who "regularly" cross police lines. How many of the four thousand news media now credentialed would be able to renew based on this standard? As you know, the LAPD Press Pass has cache that goes way beyond who should have access to a crime scene or traffic accident.
It's important for the entire journalist community to come together on this, in order that we have any chance of inputting the process for next year, whether it means an ad hoc committee working with the police commission, or with the city council to change the ordinance. Please contact me ASAP on this. Happy New Year!
Steve Kindred
KFWB Radio
RTNA President


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