Freedom of Information Home

Championing the First Amendment Rights of the Free Press is a core mission of RTNA. Our Freedom of Information (FOI) Committee regularly advocates for cameras in the courtroom, facilitates efficient pool coverage of news events, and strives to improve relations between law enforcement (and other government agencies) and working broadcast news operations. The FOI Committee also responds to instances when access rights are denied to working broadcast journalists.

For example, a delegation from RTNA's FOI Committee met with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LADP Chief William Bratton after the "May Day Melee" in McArthur Park in 2006. The meeting focused on trying to find ways for the media and the Los Angeles Police Department to understand each other better and to open lines of communication.

As a result of this meeting, and at the suggestion of RTNA, a Media Access Committee comprised of members of the Police Department and the media was established to regularly discuss issues of mutual concern. Moreover, under the leadership of RTNA, members of the press agreed to participate in the LAPDís training programs.

The Committee has been expanded to include representatives of the Los Angeles City and County Fire Departments, the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department and the Los Angeles County Police Chiefs Association. RTNAís continued participation helps to strengthen the relationship between members of the broadcast media and the LAPD, proof of which is in the way some veteran officers are changing the way they perceive the media.

On a related note, RTNA has also provided valuable input with respect to the Police Departmentís new press pass credential system. RTNA hopes the recommendations we made will help streamline the press pass process and provide a clearer understanding of the program.

The result of these efforts has been improved lines of communication, and RTNA has increasingly become a resource for law enforcement officials to call upon to facilitate effective news coverage of breaking stories.

Freedom of Information