Fighting for Access: New Report on the State of Media Credentialing Practices in the United States

At the end of May, fifteen leading journalism organizations signed on to a letter calling for SCOTUSblog to be granted press credentials to cover the Supreme Court. A month earlier, not only was SCOTUSblog’s application for credential’s denied, but the committee who oversees press passes refused to renew Lyle Denniston’s credentials, even though he is a veteran Supreme Court reporter who worked for WBUR and wrote for SCOTUSblog.

A new report from the Digital Media Law Project at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and the Journalist’s Resource project at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy puts the SCOTUSblog fight in a national perspective. What is happening to SCOTUSblog in Washington, DC, is happening to journalists around the country. As the landscape of news is changing, laws and guidelines that dictate who can get a press pass are causing problems and, at times, blocking access to important new journalism organizations and individuals.

In many cases, these challenges are arising in places where freelancers and new newsrooms are trying to cover old institutions, like courts and statehouses, places where journalistic capacity has been dwindling. Continue reading

Second Journalist Arrested at Occupy DC Protests

Around 6:30 pm on Friday, February 10, a credentialed journalist who appears to be Jacquie Kubin was arrested at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, DC. Activism, especially from Occupy DC, was heavy at points around the event.

Jacquie Kubin is an editor with the Washington Times Communities site and Donne Tempo, a women’s travel site. According to people on the scene she had CPAC issued credentials. One person has confirmed her identity, but I am still waiting for confirmation from Kubin or the Washington Times. [Update: I have now confirmed Jacquie Kubin as the arrested journalist]

Based on two videos of her interactions with police, which can be seen together below, as well as eye witness accounts, it looks like she was pushed and then left the sidewalk to get the police officer’s name. After being warned to get back, she is arrested.

In the second video you can hear her say that police are hurting her, that she is not resisting arrest, and then calling a nearby friend to take her camera and call her husband. Video footage recorded by@Timcast and @Karlwitak. (Note: I have deleted a few seconds of audio near the end to protect her phone number, which she shouts out. )

Kubin is the second journalist arrested during Occupy DC protests, and the 64th journalist arrested at Occupy events since Occupy Wall Street began. See video below. Continue reading