22 THE QUEENS COURIER • JUNE 11, 2020 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Time to press the issue on credentials
Why does the NYPD control
the press credentials that reporters
PUBLISHER & EDITOR
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
INSIDE SALES MANAGER
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
PRESIDENT & CEO
JOSHUA A. SCHNEPS
ANGELICA ACEVEDO, JENNA BAGCAL, KATRINA MEDOFF,
CARLOTTA MOHAMED, MAX PARROTT, BILL PARRY
CLIFF KASDEN, SAMANTHA SOHMER, ELIZABETH ALONI
JOSHUA A. SCHNEPS
Schneps Media, 38-15 Bell Blvd., Bayside, NY 11361
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Story: Bayside high school senior awarded
scholarship for volunteer eff orts at senior homes
Summary: A Benjamin Cardozo High School senior
won a national scholarship for her volunteer eff orts
providing companionship and beauty makeovers to
women in senior homes in Queens.
Reach: 6,755 (as of 6/9/2020)
and editors need to cover
news across the city?
We were left to ask that question
aft er seeing report aft er
report last week of journalists in
New York City being harassed,
intimidated and even arrested
for covering the George Floyd
protests past the curfew hours.
The executive order that
Mayor Bill de Blasio signed on
June 1 establishing the curfew
included protections for essential
workers such as health care
workers, food delivery workers
and, yes, even reporters and editors.
It’s hard to report on the
news if you’re not allowed out of
your home to cover it.
But over and over again last
week, we saw police offi cers
completely ignore or not understand
the order covering essential
workers. Our staff wasn’t
immune to the problems.
Reporter Ben Verde, while out
covering a protest in Brooklyn
aft er curfew on June 4, was
approached by a ranking offi -
cer who threatened to take his
“f---ing press pass” if he didn’t
De Blasio responded that
police intimidation of essential
workers shouldn’t have happened,
and promised that the
NYPD wouldn’t be allowed to
do it again. He promised change,
but didn’t go into very many specifi
cs about it.
Meanwhile, City Comptroller
Scott Stringer came up with an
idea: Remove the NYPD from
the press credential process
itself, and transfer that authority
to the mayor’s offi ce instead to
keep journalists free from NYPD
It’s a good start, but even that
plan has inherent fl aws. What if,
someday, New York City elects
a mayor that’s as hostile to the
press as President Trump, who
could then wield that authority
to punish media outlets or
reporters they do not like?
We believe that the credential
powers ought to go to a city
agency that operates apolitically,
such as the Department of
Investigation or the Department
of Emergency Management.
Both agencies focus on good
government rather than politics.
Th e press card qualifi cations
that the NYPD maintains are also
antiquated and cumbersome,
with rigid requirements based
mainly on a reporter’s portfolio.
Th ey must change as well.
Certainly, this issue is minor in
comparison to the long-standing
racial injustice our city is fi ghting
to change. As we work to
bend the arc of justice in favor of
a more equal city for all, we must
also ensure that journalists are
able to cover that eff ort free of
Photo via Getty Images
The NYPD should no longer be in charge of issuing press credentials in New York City.