Monday, January 12, 2009


Three NY bloggers obtained press credentials this month in NY after they had to file a lawsuit to be recognized as 'the press.'

The men were issued press identification cards - not the more weighty press pass (or working press card), which allows journalists to go behind police lines and such.

Press credentials are issued by police departments (I used to have one, a long time ago, in Flint).

From the Jan. 9 edition of the New York Times:
“This step recognizes that bloggers are 21st-century journalists,” Mr. (Norman) Siegel, a noted civil liberties lawyer who has announced plans to run for public advocate next year, said in a phone interview. “It’s an important first step, but only a first step, because we still need to address the constitutional problem of who gets press credentials in New York City. The Police Department should not be in the business of determining who’s a journalist.”

All three of the men had previously held press credentials, which need to be renewed annually. Their applications for renewal were denied in 2007.

In Newburyport, of course, a press pass is hardly necessary. Sometimes all that's necessary is walking up clutching a reporter's notebook (although rather pricey, I've found through actual experience that holding one lends more credibility).

But this decision by the NYC police to relent and give the men their credentials (after they had filed a lawuit, of course) is a step forward. I guess.

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