How do I get an Oakland Police Department press pass?
November 24, 2011 8:55 PM   Subscribe

I'm a resident of Oakland, really close to Frank Ogawa Plaza where a love of things have been going down with Occupy Oakland. Usually I am out taking photos and such, and I was wondering what the feasibility of me getting a press pass was.

I found this document which is not very encouraging:

However, because there is interest in what is going on, I could somehow trade some coverage for the press pass. Maybe this is incredibly naive. I know they probably wouldn't respect it anyway but I'd really like to be as legit as possible so I have can show credentials (which I have already been asked to do a bunch of times) when I stand my ground.
posted by ejfox to Law & Government (4 answers total)

If you can't get a 'real' press pass, you could photoshop up yourself an indymedia press pass. (link to template is at the bottom of the page).

That being said, it seems as if there has been a good deal of overt hostility to the press that want to cover things from the center of the action (ie: even 'real press' is getting arrested).

Good luck!
posted by el io at 9:09 PM on November 24, 2011

You do not need a pass to be a journalist. This is not a privilege to be granted by government flunkies like the police, or denied by them. You simply have to go and act like a journalist. Take notes, take pictures. You do not need to ask permission to exercise your rights.
posted by diode at 9:28 PM on November 24, 2011 [9 favorites]

While diode is correct that you don't need a press pass to report a story, getting an official press pass drom a government org can give you special access that an ordinary citizen can't get.

You will need to pass an interview with the Okland PD Press Information Officer to get an officical state press pass. It looks like the current PIO is listed on this page. You could also call the non-emergency number (510) 777-3333 and ask to speak to the press info officer.

If you manage to get an interview I would come up with a much better presentation than "Usually I am out taking photos and such". It's highly unlikely they will give you a pass without having some prior published work, but give it a shot.

Also, despite what I say in the first sentence, don't expect it to keep you from getting arrested.
posted by Ookseer at 9:37 PM on November 24, 2011

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