Is It A Free Speech Violation To Deny Press Credentials To Bloggers?

from the seems-unlikely dept

Well, here's a case that may interest various bloggers who like to get press credentials to various events. Three "alternative" journalists in New York City are suing the NY Police Department for denying them press credentials, because they work for online or nontraditional publications. To be honest, it's difficult to see this lawsuit going very far. If a court finds that the NYPD is somehow required to give any alternative journalist press credentials, then it basically means that anyone can get press credentials (as, these days, anyone can become part of the press with a fews clicks) -- and makes the whole concept of press credentials meaningless. Of course, there are some who might say that's not a bad idea. But, on the whole, it seems like the NYPD (and anyone else) should be free to give out press credentials to whoever they want. It's not denying anyone's ability to report on things -- it's just determining what kind of access they have. The freedom of the press is about the freedom to report and publish -- not the freedom to go wherever they want and access whoever they want.
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Filed Under: free speech, nypd, press credentials


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2008 @ 12:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You are confused. My point is giving preferential treatment to 'traditional media' types for no other reason than having 'been around longer' provides them an unfair advantage in the market place for gathering and selling news. And don't put words in my mouth. I never claimed you should sue someone just because they refuse to grant your interview request. No one has to grant anyone an interview. But the reality is a guy with a microphone and a camera two feet from your face who asks a question or requests a follow-up interview has a distinct advantage over the blogger who has to stand in the crowd and can't even get within shouting distance. Denying press credentials to "alternative" journalists" because they work for "online or nontraditional publications" is simply gov't sanctioned anti-competitive behavior that serves established news media at the expense of innovators. For someone who constantly calls out the folly of placing artificial barriers in front of innovators your stand on this issue sounds hypocritical.

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