Stop The Presses! Bloggers To Get Official NYC Press Passes, Just In Time To Compete With New WSJ Metro Section

*(en) press pass *(nl) Perskaart *(fi) Lehdist...
Like this, but new, and cooler. Image via Wikipedia

If there is any artifact I treasure more than the oversize official NYC laminated PRESS pass I was issued while at the Daily News, it’s my green card. These two bits of plastic are as work-life-defining as anything I own.

They are, sue me, so cool. I felt some serious envy (they expire, as mine has) while covering the Madoff trial here last fall and watching everyone swagger about with theirs.

Now bloggers can get one too.

From Fishbowl NY:

We can thank blogger Rafael Martinez Alequin, who filed the lawsuit that precipitated the change.

Update: Gotham Gazette alerts us that two additional plaintiffs — the Guardian Chronicle‘s David Wallis and Featurewell.com‘s Ralph E. Smith — also pressed the case.

Before today, journalists who worked online were routinely denied press passes, presumably owing to antiquated definitions of what it means to work in media. Frankly, we’re surprised it took this long. From today’s announcement:

Under the proposed new rules published today, to obtain a press credential, an applicant must show that he or she has covered, in person, six news events where the City has restricted access, within the two-year period preceding the application. In addition to employees of traditional news gathering organizations, the new rules cover self-employed newspersons and other individuals who gather and report the news. The new press card will be issued every two years.So it’s not like any old yahoo with a blog can get special access to exclusive or difficult-to-access events; the yahoo must be invested enough in the beat to have written about restricted events six times. Only the most dedicated bloggers get access. Seems fair.

Next month, the Wall Street Journal finally launches its new Metro section. It’s going to be fun!

From editorsweblog.org:

Rupert Murdoch announced The Wall Street Journal‘s plans to launch a New York edition this April during a speech before the Real Estate Board of New York yesterday. Murdoch has reportedly set aside a $15 million budget for the new metro edition with the hopes of rivaling The New York Times in local news.

Murdoch, whose’ News Corporation acquired the Journal in 2007 and also owns The New York Post, had not previously acknowledged public reports over the new section, one of the worst-kept secrets in the newspaper industry. His remarks mark the Journal’s first foray into local news with a stand-alone daily section featuring articles on culture, sports, politics, and other news from New York.
“I’ve always believed that competition starts at home. So in the next few weeks, one of our other papers will be giving the Post some competition on their home turf. I’m talking about the Wall Street Journal,” said Murdoch.

Murdoch did go into further details, but did confirm that the new section “will be full color — and it will be feisty.”

New York City already has more dailies than most North American cities, but The New York Times shut down its Metro section in 2008, the Post is the Post and I don’t read the Daily News. For a city of its size and complexity, it’s still not well-covered; the obvious stories (the rich, Wall Street, sleazy politicians) get too much attention while entire communities and voices remain unheard. Manhattan gets most of the coverage and Manhattan remains a boys’ town.

I’m hardly looking to the WSJ for feminist redress but anyone, anywhere, seriously kicking butt on this stuff might do us all a bit of good.

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