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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Crain's - Obama charging for election night coverage.
Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 2:20 PM on 10.21.08
->> http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=31483&seenIt=1
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Jason Frizzelle, Photographer
Wilmington | NC | USA | Posted: 2:30 PM on 10.21.08
->> What's the phrase I'm looking for? Hmm.......oh yeah campaign donation.
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Christopher Szagola, Photographer
Richboro | PA | United States | Posted: 2:37 PM on 10.21.08
->> Hate to say this, but if you were covering the debates, you had to pay for internet, phone lines, electricity and etc. So I don't see the difference.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 2:47 PM on 10.21.08
->> I see no difference here than what the NCAA has been doing for years during the basketball tourney. They charge outrageous fees for internet access, phone lines and the such. It was only a matter of time before it caught on. It is after all, entertainment.
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Rafael Agustin Delgado, Student/Intern, Photographer
Pasadena / Fullerton | Ca | USA | Posted: 2:54 PM on 10.21.08
->> supply and demand
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 2:57 PM on 10.21.08
->> Hey there is a difference as phone lines and internet access cost them money and you can supply these things yourself. It is just wrong to charge the media for walking in a room. I am far to the left of Obama and never had a great feeling about him, now I know for sure just another politician.
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
Live HVN : Work SFO-NYC | | | Posted: 3:14 PM on 10.21.08
->> Back in '04 I stood on the risers on Boston until well after 1:00am and John Kerry was a no-show.

If the decision is tight and Obama is a no-show does the media get their money back?
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Patrick Fallon, Student/Intern, Photographer
Columbia | MO | USA | Posted: 3:19 PM on 10.21.08
->> Any word yet on the ability to use AirCards like Sprint's and Verizon's? Would the networks likely be too overloaded to work well enough?
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Jason Frizzelle, Photographer
Wilmington | NC | USA | Posted: 3:19 PM on 10.21.08
->> Chuck

I have to disagree, the ncaa has events at neutral arenas and the coverage is of multiple teams over the course of an extended period of time. In this case it's one candidate and one night. I have a hard time seeing this as fair considering they know for sure the media is gonna be their. The fact they will give limited access for free and the rest you have to pay for is alot like cable or any other service well if you want HBO that's gonna be extra. God forbid any member of the press have to pee during this thing, they'll probably have German style toilets that lock behind you and you pay to get out. I guess at this rate we won't be able to say "Free Press" for much longer.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 3:20 PM on 10.21.08
->> David, not really. In many of the venues for NCAA basketball there aren't ways to xmit or get your stuff out. Although it has become easier (with advancements in cellular technology) all it takes for you to be screwed is to be working in a venue where your cell doesn't get a signal and you're done. So you have to pay. Better safe than sorry has been our motto. As far as paying to get into a certain area? Sounds extreme but playing Devil's Advocate here for a moment, maybe it's an attempt to keep the media herd to a minimum. I mean, how many media outlets do you think are requesting access to that party? I'm not saying it's right and I bet they back off a little before the election but as rafael said, supply and demand. You wanna play, you gotta pay. Doesn't seem right but it's the nature of the world nowadays.
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Michael Granse, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 3:32 PM on 10.21.08
->> This is an absolutely moronic decision given the fact that Obama has gotten such a free ride from most of the journalism world during his camapaign. Most of the major networks are all but campaigning for the guy, so you would think that he would issue them guest passes and send a limo to the airport for them rather than charge them a fee for access.

Regardless of a candidate's party affiliation, no candidate should give The Media something to gripe about just two weeks before an election. With $150 million dollars in recent contributions it is not as if the Obaman campaign is facing bankruptcy without charging these fees to journalists.

This was not a smart move on the part of a campaign that seems to be doing everything else right. I wonder who's boneheaded idea this was?



*****DISCLAIMER*****
Unless Obama is implicated in some crazy scandal before election day I am actualy feeling rather inclined to vote for the man (or "THAT one" as some have called him). I am a fiscal conservative, usualy vote for Republicans, and am quite worried about some of Obama's economic plans, but despite this I think that he would probably be a good president and spokesperson for Our Country.
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
Live HVN : Work SFO-NYC | | | Posted: 3:43 PM on 10.21.08
->> .......just in from the Obama campaign, the media night credential fees have been created by Chicago based airline American Airlines (who will begin charging for oxygen should there be a sudden change in cabin pressure in the near future).

To cover election night there will also be a $50 fee per bag brought into the media area. Sodas will be available for $3 and sandwiches for $7.
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Jeff Martin, Photographer
wellington | OH | usa | Posted: 3:49 PM on 10.21.08
->> Steven, can I get one of those blankets and little pillows. I love those.
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Patrick Fallon, Student/Intern, Photographer
Columbia | MO | USA | Posted: 3:51 PM on 10.21.08
->> Can we read about this on your blog Steven? Where was that located again anyways? :p
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Colin Lenton, Photographer, Assistant
Philadelphia | PA | United States | Posted: 4:09 PM on 10.21.08
->> This makes perfect sense. An event of this magnitude costs a serious amount of money.

Who would you prefer pay for the added cost incurred by the national media that demand this access? The people of Chicago? The Obama campaign? The federal government?

On election night itself, Obama does not benefit from the coverage there - only the media who are provided access will be benefiting. Therefore they should pay for their added expense.

If the news outlets don't want to help pay for the costs of risers, television access, ad-hoc internet, electricity, heating (it will be quite cold there in a few weeks) , then they are free to sit in the general media area - which will be provided for free.

Simply put, they're not asking a lot.
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Geoff Miller, Photographer
Portage | MI | USA | Posted: 4:37 PM on 10.21.08
->> "This makes perfect sense. An event of this magnitude costs a serious amount of money."

Colin, we're talking about a campaign that just raised over $150M in the last month... I think they'll have the nut for the coronation party.
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
Live HVN : Work SFO-NYC | | | Posted: 4:51 PM on 10.21.08
->> Patrick,

For more info, I'd check here:
http://CheckHerePatrick.notlong.com
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Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 5:04 PM on 10.21.08
->> It would seem to me that the most troubling part of paying the fees is not the internet access, assigned area etc., but rather this bit...

"The area also does not include access to top Obama campaign officials, whose statements likely are to be in hot demand on Election Night. They apparently will be available only in the “press file” tent, to which an additional admission fee of $935 per person is being imposed."
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Jim Colburn, Photo Editor, Photographer
McAllen | TX | USA | Posted: 5:25 PM on 10.21.08
->> You've had to pay a share of the construction costs of the photos stands at the Presidential Inauguration for decades.

"Most of the major networks are all but campaigning for the guy"

Only if the "major network" is Fox and the candidate is John McCain.
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Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 5:36 PM on 10.21.08
->> You do have access for free, the paid part as Chuck Liddy points out is you covering costs for premium services. Sure it would be nice for them to supply them, but watching so many reporters and photographers having their own cards to transmit why pay for something everyone doesn't need. Also some networks would have their own trucks just outside.
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Colin Lenton, Photographer, Assistant
Philadelphia | PA | United States | Posted: 5:45 PM on 10.21.08
->> Geoff, why should the news media be so priviledged as to get these services handed to them for free simply because the campaign has a serious amount of cash?

I'm fairly certain those that donated their money to the Obama campaign did not do so in hopes that CNN would be able to more easily transmit breaking news from the Obama celebration party.
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
Live HVN : Work SFO-NYC | | | Posted: 6:04 PM on 10.21.08
->> Stanley,

In the 'paid for access' there will be access to higher ups in the Obama campaign. If you do not pay the $935 'press file' fee you will have no access to these campaign higher ups that are important to the coverage of election night.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 6:24 PM on 10.21.08
->> jason, that's "fuzzy logic". one night or six nights doesn't matter. I never said I agree with the charge BUT I totally understand it. For all intent and purposes it looks to me as though it could quite possibly be a "weeding out" process. I mean can you imagine how many media outlets are trying to get access. Ir would probably make the Final Four look empty. I've covered only a few campaign events here in NC (as have you) and there are "media" people coming out of the woodwork. I quite possibly would expect that number to drop quite a bit with the "admission" fee. Although it's an event during the election it's not the inauguration, which is a public event. During the course of the election there are many "closed" events to the media. And many events where people have to pay, or be ticketed to attend. This just takes a final party and puts a price tag on it. And the access will be there, the wires, tv, radio and other outlets will disseminate the information just like any other big event smaller outlets can't or won't attend because of cost factors.
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 6:42 PM on 10.21.08
->> I really hope this does not stand. If it does, you can count on all of the major awards shows, the World Series, etc., doing likewise.

--Mark
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George Bridges, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington | DC | USA | Posted: 7:34 PM on 10.21.08
->> The event can be covered for free, you have to pay to have guaranteed covered riser space or a work space with high speed access in the media room.

The thoughts today on the print photo side is this is for TV to have a guaranteed area marked off on the platform for them and power and Internet etc to do their stand ups. It seems to be a way to provide a counting and limiting the amount of TV standup crews on the risers and with paying for a marked off 5X8 spot you get credentials for 4 persons on the riser -- talent, camera, sound and maybe another talking head or a producer.

If you've ever been to a big coverage event where things are up for grabs you know how crazy folks can be fighting over a few inches of space.

The question remains to be seen if there will be riser space provided for those who don't want a guaranteed spot with power etc or if you will be fending for yourself somewhere on crowd level where a couple folks holding signs will block your view. A walk-thru for media soon should answer those questions.

As Jim said, paying for stuff on the campaign trail is standard now. Reporters already paying to travel with the candidate up to and including election day will probably not be paying the filing center fee. And those reporters, photographers and TV crews you see get off Air Force One with the president -- each organization pays probably $1 million per year for the privilege of staffing that.

And for the NCAA question Chuck brings up. I don't mind paying for high-speed access at events, it's a way to make sure you get images out and are not playing roulette with cell signals. What I do have a problem with is that photo is charged rates many times what the word folks pay. Word folks can get on the NCAA's wireless for access of about $25 for the Final Four (or two days at an early round site) while photo is charged several hundred dollars and at times more than $1,000. I figured up a few years ago what my company was charged for high-speed access for photo would have paid for nearly 50 writers.
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Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 8:13 PM on 10.21.08
->> George/Chuck (others)-

What is your view on the $935 fee to access the "press file" tent which is where all of the ranking campaign officials will be?
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Geoff Miller, Photographer
Portage | MI | USA | Posted: 8:21 PM on 10.21.08
->> "The question remains to be seen if there will be riser space provided for those who don't want a guaranteed spot with power etc or if you will be fending for yourself somewhere on crowd level where a couple folks holding signs will block your view. A walk-thru for media soon should answer those questions."

See here for the details from the Obama camp:
http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2008/10/obama_campaign_selling_chicago.html

To answer your question, from the Obama camp: "Credentials to access the General Media Area are available at no cost. Please note that the General Media Area is outdoors, unassigned and may have obstructed views. General Media Area credentials do not include access to riser positions, satellite truck parking or the press filing center."

So as long as you don't mind SRO ground level access (which may only offer an obstructed view), no access to campaign officials, no press center access, and no nothing else... then it's still free. Anything else, and the minimum fee is $880.

For those that think this is OK, then I hope you won't mind when the NFL and such decide to charge you $$$ for simple field access.
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Tom Knier, Photographer
Lancaster | PA | USA | Posted: 8:23 PM on 10.21.08
->> If I recall, my television station's ownership group plopped down some hefty coin for a spot on the TV risers in Jacksonville for the Super Bowl in 2005... Sounds like the same deal here.

It's a sad and natural progression of capitalism- if you CAN sell it, you WILL.
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Jeff Martin, Photographer
wellington | OH | usa | Posted: 8:24 PM on 10.21.08
->> I'm amazed no one has suggested a news boycott. If the NCAA, was charging 900 bucks to get into the post game interview room after the Fiesta Bowl, people would be screaming. The prices they are talking about are more that what is necessary to cover risers or what ever.

If oboma wants to charge, that's his right. Just don't defend it here, then complain when the NFL, NBA, NCAA, or IHSAA goes the same route.
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Jason Frizzelle, Photographer
Wilmington | NC | USA | Posted: 8:40 PM on 10.21.08
->> Well I understand the need to weed out the number of media but I feel it can be done in a different way. The millions more rally made you apply and I had to send in a detailed summary of what I would be covering. Many events do the application and it seems to have worked for them. As far as the NCAA is concerned they exsist to make money.
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George Bridges, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington | DC | USA | Posted: 9:11 PM on 10.21.08
->> Geoff, I had already read all that and actually have read all the press sign-up forms from the Obama camp myself, not what others are saying.

I've had this batted around with folks my from organization and others who have covered Washington and campaigns for many years longer than my experience with national politics and they are taking a wait-and-see attitude for what the media walk-thru shows for print media.

In 2000 in Nashville I was in a SRO spot on a short ladder and had a good view of the stage and had my computer and phone line at my feet. Of course I worked an 18-hour day, spent 12 of those hours in the rain and never saw the candidate. In Nashville there were risers set aside for TV standup crews on one side and there was plenty of space there as well for stills to set up too, it was just not the best angle so we decided to man other positions. Of course, I don't know if TV paid anything back then but they probably did for power and phone lines (as we all did).

And Mark, the fee for the press-file area is a way for reporters to have some comforts while there. They will have a seat, access to television broadcasts of results, food, a roof and heat (remember this is Chicago in November so the weather can be everywhere from 70 and sunny to snow). Remember at football games the reporters carry in a 5-pound laptop, sit in the heated press box and eat hot food and get spoon-fed stats. Photographers stand in 3-degree weather with a foot of snow and eat cold hot dogs at halftime and lug 60 pounds of gear back and forth. Reporters like their comfort! (just getting a joke in on my reporter friends.)

I don't know if there is any guarantee that they will have real "access" to campaign officials, it probably just where they will make any announcements not made to the general crowd in the park. Frankly I don't think there will be much news from campaign officials. They won't be strolling the tent, walking up to reporters asking "you have any questions for me?"

And read the "from the Obama campaign" section of that article. Where does it say "access to campaign officials"? I think that is being assumed.

Most big news organizations will be traveling into the city with Obama and will probably get this access already included with their travel charges.

Should the campaign provide a roof and heat for free? Maybe. Should they provide high-speed access? I would like them to but they are under no obligation to help the media do their jobs.

Sure the campaign is raising tons of money and could probably afford to outfit the whole press tent, but getting high-speed lines to a park is not cheap, renting a tent is not cheap, electricity is not cheap -- so maybe they want to recover some of their costs.

At the conventions if you wanted shooting positions wired for Internet you paid an installation charge that was way more than the materials -- I know, I've run a lot of Cat-5 myself at the Final Four.

Frankly, usually the best reporting from big events like this doesn't come from the risers or press file areas -- that's where you get what the campaign wants you go get. The best stuff usually comes from someone wandering through the crowd looking for a fresh angle. You know, actually working.
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Jim Colburn, Photo Editor, Photographer
McAllen | TX | USA | Posted: 9:26 PM on 10.21.08
->> "What is your view on the $935 fee to access the "press file" tent which is where all of the ranking campaign officials will be?"

Who's paying for the tent with its security, AC, etc.? If you have to file can't you do it sitting on the ground, logging on via your Verizon card? If your organization is too cheap to pay for the privilege of sitting on a crappy plastic chair at a crappy folding table next to some other poor hack why do you blame the Obama campaign?
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David Harpe, Photographer
Louisville | KY | USA | Posted: 10:13 PM on 10.21.08
->> It's a weird problem. On the one hand it's pretty draconian to charge this kind of access. But given the fact that this will be covered by more media (domestic and international) than anyone can possibly fathom, what would be a better way when you're going to have to limit numbers in some way? At sporting events if you want courside/sideline access it's all dependent on the whims of the ADs and their media folks. If you're one of the top pubs you'll have access, second and third tier and it's how well you can talk your way into a courtside shooting position. Olympics are the same way.

All of that works fine for athletic competitions, but in a political environment such as this, ANY restriction involving someone making an arbitrary judgment would be criticized by someone. Yet the organizers do have to cut back on the number of people allowed prime access and access to media resources, or people won't be able to get their jobs done.

So maybe this is how they decided to solve the problem. In essence the outcome will probably be the same as what you get with sporting events: Large pubs and some medium tier pubs will have "sideline" access, smaller pubs and others will be in the cheap seats. But instead of someone in the Obama camp having to be the media czar making the cut based on their own gut feel, money becomes the dispassionate determiner.

Not saying it's right - just saying it's a different way of viewing what they're doing.
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 10:39 PM on 10.21.08
->> There is no way that there will be or even could be a boycott of such a historic event. This is the news equivalent of gouging for gasoline after a hurricane. It's absolutely detestable.

--Mark
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 11:01 PM on 10.21.08
->> welcome to the "real" world. detestable, maybe. gouging? sure it is. did anyone slap the oil companies for that crap after the last hurricane? nope. people have been howling about these things happening in the sports world over the years to no avail, as george pointed out these events (and he's covered a boatload of them) cost money and someone has to pay. I would also like to point out, I would be remiss if I didn't (smiles here) that there have been a million threads (sorry I'm jacking up the figures) from people on this site griping about how the media feel like they are special and deserve special treatment, well darn if we ain't getting some EXTRA special treatment now, and low and behold we're PAYING for it. As my long dead dad once said, "son, there isn't anything in life that's free, anyone who tell's you different is a damn liar." the bottom line is...your news organization has a choice...pay and get an assigned seat or take your chances with the free for all. democracy and capitalism at work! ain't life grand!! 8)
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Pouya Dianat, Photographer
Atlanta | GA | USA | Posted: 11:36 PM on 10.21.08
->> In 2004 I was at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC on election night waiting for George W. Bush. We were charged $350 for that privilege. It was a mandatory fee, and I believe that did not include an internet connection. The receipt said "(1) Padded chair" if I'm recalling all this correctly.

These new charges are fairly obscene, but unless I am severely mistaken...nothing new.
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Will Lester, Photographer
Ontario | CA | USA | Posted: 12:32 AM on 10.22.08
->> I was on the fence between the two candidates, I have now made up my mind.
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Bruce Twitchell, Photographer
Coeur d'Alene | ID | USA | Posted: 12:54 AM on 10.22.08
->> Will,
Really!? With so many other important issues you are going to let this, of all things make up your mind on who will be running our country?


I wasn't going to say anything on this topic, but I figure I'll chime in with a little different perspective on this whole situation.

I can see both sides of this. For starters, this is news, it is history, is needs to be recorded by the media. With that being said though, how much money has the media made off of Obama through ads over the past year? How much money has the media made off of Obama because of stories over the past year?

The media is supposed to be there to report the news, but let's face it, most of the media now is all about the profits. If newspaper companies were more concerned about reporting the news over making a certain profit, there would not be all the layoffs and paper closures. It is about the money. Perhaps the Obama campaign has realized that there has been a large amount of money made off of him, so why not try to recoup some of that.

As others have stated, it can not be cheap to bring in all the internet connections, electricity connections, etc. all for one night. Electrical unions charge a lot of money to set that all up, why should the Obama campaign pay all the costs so the media can make money?

Seating will be limited. Those who cough up the money to get the exclusive seats will get the exclusive stories and, in theory, sell more copies of the paper or have more viewers on TV.

I don't necessarily like what is happening, and where this is all going, but I can see why they are doing it. Let's face it, without other people willing to give access, even at a cost, there is NO story. Obama, if he wins, could elect to have a private party and not invite anyone (this would not be a smart choice on his part but he could do it). If he chose this route, no one would have any photos, any stories, any quotes, and papers would not sell as many copies, TV would not have as many viewers, not as many ads would be sold, and not as much profit would be made.

The level of expectation that the media has gets to me sometimes. I am part of the media, but I don't understand the expectation that just because there is an event happening, private or public, media should have access for no cost at all. If you don't like the terms and conditions that are being presented to you, don't cover the event.

I know that this will not be a popular post, so mark away with the inappropriates and huhs.
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Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 1:17 AM on 10.22.08
->> Bruce,

It's not a one way street. The campaigns exploit the media to their benefit as much as they can. How much money have the campaigns brought in because of their media access? The campaigns didn't foot the bill for the debates - but certainly reaped the benefit of the free airtime.

At the extreme, there is an argument to be made (not saying this is my opinion) that the media made his campaign (and thus the hundreds of millions in donations) possible to begin with.



My perception is that this has historically been a symbiotic relationship, with both sides benefiting. To now start splitting hairs over a few hundred thousand dollars by a campaign that has raised how many hundreds of millions just seems petty.
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David G. McIntyre, Photographer
Beijing | . | CHINA | Posted: 1:20 AM on 10.22.08
->> I will be sending the Obama campaign a bill for me to listen to his speech with my good ears, and to use my good camera equipment to take his picture.

He can stop spending money on some of the campaign commercials, and use the money for other things like decent internet.
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Stephen Maturen, Student/Intern, Photographer
Minneapolis | MN | United States | Posted: 2:02 AM on 10.22.08
->> I thought the Obama campaign was all about supporting students.....

I guess the support for the middle class doesn't extend to media outlets.

Psh, I'll see you in hell NY Times fat-cats!!
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Dave Prelosky, Photographer
Lower Burrell | Pa | US | Posted: 2:08 AM on 10.22.08
->> Stephen,
I'd suggest the Obama campaign is about electing a Presidential candidate.
I'd also suggest that many media outlets have nothing to do with the 'middle class" The are profit making enterprises, frequently owned by their shareholders, investors, or as family holdings.
I have no idea what the last sentence means...
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David Harpe, Photographer
Louisville | KY | USA | Posted: 7:55 AM on 10.22.08
->> This is the news equivalent of gouging for gasoline after a hurricane.

Oh come on Mark! If you keep delivering that kind of drama you're going to need a SAG card.

They aren't saying you have to pay to go, they are saying you have to pay for the stuff that costs money to set up. Everything the campaign is charging for costs money to set up and operate. Can't be cheap to have union guys set up risers and run power at an event like this.

All of the stuff they are charging for are things they will have to constrain in some form or fashion anyway. The number of media covering this thing could easily reach a thousand people. You can't provide enough riser space for everyone and still have a view. So somewhere, somehow someone would have to decide who gets to be in the "chosen" spots.

One alternative would be to not provide ANY of that stuff for anyone and just provide credentialing and basic access. If your paper wanted Internet access at the venue, they'd have to arrange for it to be available. Want a riser? Fine. Pay to have it hauled there, set up and powered, coordinate installation and security with the secret service, and provide insurance.

The outcome would be the same - the big guys would be able to afford to do it, second and third tier would be in the cheap seats, and somehow, somewhere, someone would have to cut it off when there was no more space left.

They could also just pool feed it - let the chosen few from the networks, wire services and Getty cover it. Everyone else could watch it from the parking lot on a jumbotron. It would be far less hassle for them.

The outcome of the election will already be in the history books by the time this thing happens. The party is for the supporters and contributors, not for the media (although right-leaning folks might argue that they are one in the same :-).

In that context I think it's actually pretty respectable that they aren't spending donated money to provide cushy media access at an event that has zero impact on the outcome of the election.

It's kind of sad to see how far the media has come. There was a time when editors would fire journalists for taking freebies of ANY kind from people they were covering.

Now...not only is it expected - it is GRADED.
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Walt Middleton, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbus | OH | USA | Posted: 8:33 AM on 10.22.08
->> Almost everyone here makes very valid points however,

Colin Lenton made the best and probably the most valid point.

"I'm fairly certain those that donated their money to the Obama campaign did not do so in hopes that CNN would be able to more easily transmit breaking news from the Obama celebration party."

I agree totaly... Yeah it is inconvient, but it is the right thing to do. And it will make getting those interviews that much easier... no scrum...if you pay you get the interview...

Just my humble opinion... Ok, so my wife tells me I'm not so humble...
Oh well.
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Sam Santilli, Photographer, Photo Editor
Philippi | WV | USA | Posted: 9:21 AM on 10.22.08
->> So now the Obama camp charges the media to get FREE coverage? Should not the media be charging the Obama folks for feeding the country the Dem's message? So now do we get our tax money back that goes to the political parties to put on these shows/campaigns?
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George Bridges, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington | DC | USA | Posted: 9:31 AM on 10.22.08
->> Everyone should keep in mind one thing as you bash the Obama campaign:

We don't know what the McCain camp will be doing on election night. We may see similar charges from them so don't just put it on one side -- yet.

And as many have stated before, this has been going on for some time at events like this and in sporting events. The Olympics gives priority to organizations that pay them for the privilege of covering and also give priority at events that have limited press access to those that buy space in the media center.

Pro teams often give priority to media outlets that cover them home and away. Away games mean you are spending money on the team and how many news organizations have an advertising deal with their local pro team for a promotional section or give-away or a licensed weekly team TV show? That's paying the team as well.

As I said before, sure the Obama campaign has raised tons of money and could probably afford to outfit the whole thing, but they are putting money out on the media's behalf and want to recoup some of that money. With this being a tight race I think I would rather buy a few more ads in Ohio rather than spend it on a tent for the media.
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Jim Colburn, Photo Editor, Photographer
McAllen | TX | USA | Posted: 9:35 AM on 10.22.08
->> "Should not the media be charging the Obama folks for feeding the country the Dem's message?"

Should not every local TV station (making loads o' money using the public's airwaves) be offering candidates FREE airtime instead of charging through the nose for political ads?

I was in France in 2007 covering their Presidential election. The whole thing took less than three months and cost a grand total (for all the candidates) of 160 million publicly-financed Euros.

There were no (as in NONE) paid TV or radio ads. Each candidate got approx. 15 minutes of free national airtime each on radio and TV. There were no print ads. The only advertising allowed was posters (millions of posters...)

Of course what that means is that a candidate has to actually go out and campaign. They hold rallies (lots of 'em) before crowds of 1000-10000 people where they speak for, oh, one to one and a half hours, explaining their positions and how they intend to pay for things. No sound bite "speeches", no 15 minute quicky campaign stops at an airport. People in France go to a candidate's rally (lots of times a candidate they don't support) and sit calmly and respectfully and LISTEN to what a candidate has to say.

It was bliss.

The campaign food was a lot better too...
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Stephen Maturen, Student/Intern, Photographer
Minneapolis | MN | United States | Posted: 11:38 AM on 10.22.08
->> Dave,

Just foolin'.

It usually takes a lot to get a media credential (for a large event) for a college news outlet, let alone a photo credential. I fully understand why a campaign would credential a large out of town news outlet (NY Times), vs a newspaper with a circulation 20,000. But when you put a price on a credential it only furthers the push towards these larger news outlets who can afford to purchase them and suppresses the smaller news outlet ability to create news (IMO).

So basically, I'm just jealous.
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 1:04 PM on 10.23.08
->> This country was founded on a free press. I guess it is no longer free to cover the news in Obama land.
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Dave Prelosky, Photographer
Lower Burrell | Pa | US | Posted: 1:39 PM on 10.23.08
->> David,
At the risk of dragging this thread in a completely new direction, I suspect your understanding of Constitutional law is a bit skewed. The amendment refers to the relationship between the government and media rather than the press and campaigns.

To wit:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
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