The working press in NY City has to obtain a press pass from the NYPD. Events during the protests this past summer have prompted two members of the New York City Council to propose a bill to take away this authority from the NYPD and shift it to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS).
In introducing the legislation, New York City Council Members Keith Powers and Adrienne Adams stated:
“During the summer protests in New York City, the NYPD proposed changes to the rules regarding the suspension and revocation of press credentials. The NYPD’s proposal, made during a time when the department was receiving heightened media coverage, raised the issue of whether one of the largest and most heavily-scrutinized city agencies should control press credentials. In an editorial published over the summer, the New York Times chronicled the threatening tactics the NYPD employed with regard to the handling of press credentials and treatment of journalists.”
“Freedom of the press is an important part of our democracy,” said Council Member Adrienne Adams. “For many New York City journalists, a press pass is key to their livelihood and the NYPD’s broad discretion and lack of transparency in the process cannot continue. Moving the authority to issue and revoke press credentials is necessary to protect the independence of press in New York City.”
We agree there must be a change in the way press credentials are issued in New York City. During difficult times, there is an inherent conflict between police and journalists reporting events. So it makes sense to move this to a different agency.
On the other hand, we must make sure that “politics” will not enter into the process of issuing press credentials. The potential for such problems will exist when this authority is moved to another agency. Accordingly, it is absolutely essential that NY City adopt a completely transparent process for issuing credentials. Moreover, press credentials must be issued in a timely manner.
To see the Press Release from Council Members Power and Adams click HERE.
To see the proposed NY City legislation click HERE.
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