LISten vs. Media Relations Folks: The Case of No Press Passes

Elsewhere the matter has been brought up about wanting original reporting in the podcast. That is a fair assertion. The trial season so far has not had any. That is not for a lack of trying, though. Since it would have been just a brief drive across town to go CES2008 was considered. There would not have been hotel costs or the like. A 15-20 minute (depending upon traffic) drive from Henderson to The Strip would have been simply followed up by finding a parking spot then heading on in. I contacted the Consumer Electronics Association on December 14th to see about getting credentials. On the 15th I got a shoot-down e-mail back. Nobody from could secure media credentials to attend as was not considered to be a "news media outlet". Although I found out later about blogger credentials being available the only way to have gotten in would have been by paying for an attendee pass. Even that was a somewhat iffy proposition as I have no sufficient professional relationship with the industry that was presenting itself. After discussion here the matter was left after a "Hail Mary" option was attempted that did not succeed. Blogger credentials are an anomaly for these types of conventions. Posts at PC World and c|net mentioned how folks from the site Gizmodo disrupted presentations at the conference. Rafe Needleman of c|net reported that one of the identified pranksters has been banned from attending any future CES events. Much of the chatter I have gotten wind of is that blogger credentials may be nearly impossible to secure next year because of this. So what does this lovely story mean? For LISten to have gotten into the conference per day passes would have been required. Those passes ran $176 per day per person. For the production team to have been able to go in to CES events during the show's run the cost would have been just under $2,000. We do not have that budget on the ground here in the Las Vegas metro. Carrying out original reporting is another matter different from what is being done now on the podcast. To do that financial help from listeners would be needed. Original reporting that is worth presenting is not cheap to do at all. So, how would a shift to original reporting be most easily facilitated? The easiest way is to raise enough funds to where I do not have the worries of a "day job" and can focus on reporting. The amount that that would cost, at a minimum, is USD$1,300. Although it may be impossible at this point in time my preferred way to keep things going is to be accredited as an adjunct somewhere. Whether it is for doing virtual reference or teaching online this would be a unique way to proceed. Leaving the Las Vegas metro is not necessarily an option at the moment but telecommuting is potentially doable. If you are able to help in this area you can either write to [email protected] or hit the contact form. As we consider here ways forward for the podcast I just want to put some specifics out there that might help in deliberation. A means of donating via PayPal is available in a button below that has a donation set at $10 if you want to give. The first three people to donate will be thanked at the end of episode five for their support subject to my retaining editorial control over what is written and presented. If you want to donate but do not have or want a PayPal account write to [email protected] to discuss alternative options. And now, the button that can be clicked to reach a secure means of donating to support LISten:
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Well, that's a great story for LISTen to cut its indy journalism teeth on. Apply now for a pass to next year's even as an indy journalist, and if they say they don't want to issue one, consult with a constitutonal lawyer (ACLU should be able to give you a name), and challenge their refusal.

Post info at each stage of the project.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Save the easily offended: ban everything.

Actually, the procedural notion mentioned will not quite work. CES is a limited public forum perhaps but not a truly public one. The event was held at a set of private establishments that, although they offer services to the public, are not free for all areas. Bouncers were on-duty checking credentials people possessed.

The hard part of getting into an event like CES is that it is akin to trying to get into a wedding uninvited. If you meet with the bridal party's approval you can get in. Otherwise one would get slapped with a trespass charge in short order. In the case of the casinos that hosted parts of the CES event there are some nasty provisions of Nevada state law that would have resulted in nasty penalties if charges were brought. If one of the locations is a "gaming establishment" then statutory penalties kick in if the crime was against the establishment.

In many respects CES has the right to do what it wants in these cases. In bringing reports no journalist is required to attend a tradeshow. Other avenues of reporting are available to bring news to readership/listenershp/viewership. The normal trend, though, is to cruise the tradeshow floors looking for news.

I actually put forward the pitch for credentials as a freelancer who would file with rather than representing the site itself. That got shot down even though I do have an established track record of news writing under my own by-line. The "hail mary" was to see if I could get in with another media outlet that received press credentials. That did not work out, alas.

The big issue comes down to money. With shows like CES the bias is towards the more established outlets that have money to pay for the reporting staff. LISten has no funding support and nobody is paid in the process of creating the show and releasing it. What is sustaining the show is first the numbers of downloads we are seeing each week while financial support comes from each member of the production team working a day job. I was handed last night the news that my day job will disappear in six days which really clouds things for me in terms of life day to day.

I hope this made sense.
Stephen Kellat, Host, LISten

I can't agree with the CES line that LISNewsterz cannot be "real journalists", but that's the wrong argument for this time and place. I'll just say that it appears to me as if they are creating a system of licensing and let it go at that.

However, do you think there might be a chance of having LISTen form a partnership with an already established -- and closer to the mainstream -- medium? Democracy Now, for instance. The partner could apply for the credentials, you or your interviewer goes to the show to collect the material, and you share it mutually. (Or is that what you meant you tried in what you wrote?)

Or could you do an end run by applying for credentials as a librarian doing research into the IT field? Much easier, although it does smack of misrepresentation. It might be worth looking into, though, to see what other kinds of trades are being allowed in.

Save the easily offended: ban everything.

The idiot from Gizmodo with the TV-Be-Gon turning off monitors was not professional and since he was a blogger all bloggers get lumped in with idiots who live in thier mom's basements.

No wonder people think he was not a professional journalist, he was acting like a seven year old.