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.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: free speech, nypd, press credentials


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    jay, 6 Jul 2009 @ 1:51pm

    DCPI goes too far?

    just had to comment here, while I am not a member of NYPD press i to agree the system is messed up. I and a fellow photographer were visiting NYC for the Macys 4th of july for July 4th 2009, We called a branch known to very few called the DCPI, we were emailed the press release and told that our credentials were not valid NYPD credentials. We were also told where the media would be and that our credentials would be honored for this event as lo9ng as they had our photo and media outlet displayed on them. We were told be TWO people at "DCPI" that we would be ok. On the day of the event the police had "no clue" however after displaying our badges we were slowly let through to the front of the barricades, when we finally reached the front press block we ran into a gentleman (i use that term very loosely) by the name of "Hayes". This man was UNPROFESSIONALLY ARROGANT and rude towards us, he called our credentials "poorly made fakes" and continued to insult our intelligence. One of the reporters with me wanted to "slap him" and though he deserved it she held back her temper. The end result was to quote hayes " you tired, you came down here, you lost, your not getting in, exit the area up to 11th ave immediately, if you are caught here you will be cited for trespassing"

    I tried to shake his hand but he brushed me off, its my guess the "DCPI" whoever they are does not look to carefully about who they employ, and as far as hayes he wasn't the smartest tack in the box either.

    I don't know about NYC press, but they treat visiting press with disrespect and arrogance, don't get me wrong the NYPD were very polite, and the people on teh phone were also, but this "hayes" character was a power tripping loser that should not be in a place of authority. My office is filing a complaint with the city of new york, what happens with that will remain to be seen.

    It is a sad day when a city has to deny legitimate journalists and members of the media access, or when we cant do our job because arrogant unintelligent employees take power trips on a daily basis. Research has indicated past events like this with this "hayes" character from press that were visiting from out of state.

    Long story short we went to NJ and the police treated us very well over there and we got the footage we needed. Hope everyone had a happy 4th!

    mental note: rick the NJ press had never heard of the "DCPI" and lots of NYPD didnt know of them either, this hayes guy treated us like common thugs, my assistant almost belted him, when we got to NJ the media had filled up the area, but the NJPD got us into a house overlooking manhattan and since the house was due to be razed (demolished) anyways but had power, a detective that had been in the area looked at our creds and lwet us up to the 4th floor with a beautiful bay window view of the river.

    The nj press reporter who gave us a ride back to kennedy drive (to get a bus back to NYC) said that next time we should call MACYS and ask their pR depaqrtyment for VIP passdes, we MIGHT do that, i wont lie the show was stunning, however our reception makes me think twice about NYC altogether for awhile.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.