By Nancy Newman, PPAGLA past-president and Board of Directors Member
Professional photojournalists and students from across Southern California gathered for an informative lecture about “Media Access,” presented by the Press Photographers Association of Greater Los Angeles. The spring 2014 event, took place at the Moose Lodge Conference Center in Glendale, and featured keynote speaker Frank Cowan.
Attendees learned about the legal obligations and practices in gaining access to disaster and crime scenes from Cowan, who has been training Public Information Officers and members of the media on California Laws pertaining to press access for more than two decades.
In addition to the lecture, attendees took part in an engaging question and answer session, where specific incidents were discussed and potential solutions were offered for future breaking-news events.
Santa Monica student Amy Gaskin, who attended the event, said she learned practical applications that she can utilize, as she is beginning to cover more breaking news for her local newspaper. “I didn’t know about California Penal Code 409.5, which grants access to credentialed journalists, and am excited to learn that we have rights when gathering news in the field.”
The event was part of PPAGLA’s outreach program, designed to provide further education to members of the 500 member strong organization of television and newspaper photojournalists.