Bloggers Can Get Press Passes Too, Thanks To City Hall

by HANNAH LAWRENCE · March 2, 2010

GREAT news everyone! (Or at least for us bloggers!) City Hall has proposed several new guidelines that could change how media figures in NYC receive press passes. -

The impending changes come as a response to a lawsuit filed by Norman Siegel, who requested press passes for three online journalists, but were de-NIED them, probably because there's a lot of bias towards modern reporters who type instead of write with quill pens and avoid journalism school. But of course Siegel couldn't argue any of that in court, so he maintained the reporters were not issued their press passes because in the past, he'd reported on and exposed several issues plaguing the NYPD.

All of this comes down to the NYPD (whom we respect very much and think their working dogs are adorable!) acknowledging the laws of the city have been lapped by advancements in technology, and taking steps to fix it so reporters don't have to risk their nonexistant criminal histories for a lead.

On their efforts, the NYC Law Department says the new rules will help the Police Department

"...modernize the City's credentialing system to reflect changes to the media industry, and, for the first time, expressly incorporate online-only media such as blogs."

Of the righteous changes, Siegel said,

"The new rules will enable journalists to gather and report news in a more successful manner than before...Online journalists will now be considered 21st century journalists and be treated equally to print, televsion and radio journalists."

Hooray for an end to discrimination against bloggers! Even though the creation of and memorization of new laws make us antsy, they don't sound too bad. In the future...

" applicant must show that he or she has covered, in person, six news events where the City has restricted access..."

Okay, that one's not so great. But there's more to it!

"The proposed rules continue the issuance of "reserve cards" that allow news organizations to credential a specific reporter for a specific assignment...The reserve card eliminate[s] the 'chicken or the egg' problem that exists for a prospective press card applicant who has not yet covered, in person, six news events."

"The proposed rules establish timeframes for granting or denying press hearings and appeals concerning the denial of an application."

We must point out how the NYPD's past hesitance (and aforementioned refusal) to divvy out press passes to bloggers is basically another manifestation of the way many professionals see blogging at the bottom of the journalism totem pole. But instead of lashing out and defending the validity of our trade, we'll throw our support behind these new laws in hopes of our lives becoming a bit easier. Next stop: plagiarism!

[image via prprep]