Online Journos And Respect to the Dallas Sheriff’s Department

(Warning: Inside baseball media stuff follows.) New York Police, who are in charge of credentialing, are trying to deny an online columnist press credentials. Seems pretty last century thinking, notwithstanding that it also looks retaliatory. Brought to mind how we gotta give props to the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, which gives credentials here. Back as early as 2005, they started credentialing online-only media types — yours truly was the first locally so carded up back in my days at DallasBlog — without any sense of prejudice against the new media.

Update: Given the Rube Goldberg structure of that last sentence, I’m surprised anyone credentialed me.

Update x 2: Austin Kilgore, a brother in the empire with our sibling publication, gives me an update on how things have changed since 2005. After the jump.

Don’t gush over the Sheriff’s Dept. credentialing practices too much. About a year ago, the Sheriff’s Dept. stopped issuing credentials because the Dallas County Building Security Dept. wanted to take over the operation. Building Security said the main purpose of the credentials is to help the security officials get reporters in and out of the county buildings, so they wanted to know who was getting credentials and when. It’s all supposed to be part of a bigger post-9/11 emphasis on security, or so they saw.

The Sheriff’s Dept. handed off the job to them, but Building Security wasn’t ready to take on the job, didn’t have the people or equipment in place, so now nobody can get new credentials. It’s been a real pain because DPD and other agencies rely on the county credential [DPD used to issue their own, but stopped when they realized they could accept the county credential].

It’s been like this ever since I graduated from SMU last year. When I was at Dallasblog, I couldn’t get a credential, and now that I’m up here at People Newspapers, none of the new reporters can’t either.

I’ve been hounding the county for months about this, and they finally told us to get credentials from the Texas Press Association and they would accept those.

So much for increased building security…

Austin Kilgore

Preston Hollow People

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