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Media accreditation: who is protecting who?

Freddie FitzGerald
By Peder Berg 13 February 2019
The video currently circulating showing a BBC reporter being attacked at a Trump rally in Texas on Monday has revived a debate surrounding press freedom. All too often the media accreditation process is set up with the aim of controlling the movement of reporters and photographers and their access to people and spaces within an event or venue. But freedom of the press is paramount in open societies, so it is vital that event organisers, venue security and PR teams use the process of accreditation to not only manage the press, but to protect them from external threats so that they have the ability to carry out their work.   
 
Media must be vetted and verified via an accreditation process. But they also need to be easily identified with the right security passes. Access control zones should be set up to make it clear who is allowed where. And onsite security teams must be briefed fully to ensure that the right people are in the right areas. Then we not only protect the VIPs and those at the centre of media attention, but the journalists, photographers and broadcasters protecting the freedoms of our democracy.