Chicago discontinues fingerprinting requirement for reporters

By Rosemary Lane

Reporters have always received press passes to cover a wide range of events, from the White House to Woodstock to the World Series. But in today’s ever shifting media world, the rules for deciding who qualifies to receive press passes are anything but clear.

Police stations around the country are adapting their policies to deal with the onslaught of bloggers and freelancers requesting press passes in this booming era of citizen journalism. Some stations have stopped issuing press passes, while others are restructuring their programs, ramping up requirements for background checks or loosening the rules for who gets passes.

“It seems a week doesn’t go by where we hear what’s the latest thing we need to deal with? What’s the latest thing we need to adapt to?” said Capt. Mike Parker, head of media relations at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. “I definitely have the impression that the new media issue is a bigger issue than ever before.”

NM&L (Fall 2010): Police departments restructure press pass policies to adapt to bloggers, freelancers