Press Credentials

The Colorado Broadcasters Association (CBA) issues Colorado working press cards and plates to individuals who have legitimate need to obtain news in situations where identification may be requested or required by police, fire departments, or other agencies. In Colorado, all meetings of local governments, state boards and commissions, and the legislature are open to the public and require no special identification for reporters. However, credentials may be requested, especially to obtain access to the floor of the legislature. Because of the limited number of press parking spaces in the state, press plates will be issued only to persons who cover news on a regular basis.

These cards or plates do not provide entry to sports or entertainment events, seminars or meetings held by private corporations, tight security situations, or other events where special credentials are required or an admission fee is charged. The cards do not permit carriers to disobey traffic laws or ignore orders from authorities at the scene of a news event.

  1. Press credentials will be issued to persons in the State of Colorado who work for the news departments of Colorado Radio and Television stations. Application must be made by an executive/manager of the station, certifying that the individual is qualified for the credentials. These executives accept responsibility for returning press plates and destroying press cards if the individual leaves the station.
  2. CBA membership is not required to receive press credentials and does not ensure their issuance. Persons seeking credentials must follow this procedure:
    • CBA member and non-member stations must submit an application subject to approval by the CBA. Applications must be submitted by a company executive/manager and may require an accompanying letter to delineate why such credentials are needed.
    • Businesses, clubs, associations: Working Press Credentials will not be issued to any business, club, or association which resells the credentials or in any way markets memberships on a basis of access to such credentials. Nothing in these rules shall be taken to prohibit any group or publication from providing its own press credentials by setting up its own agreement with law enforcement and other official organizations. However, copying the CBA format shall be considered copyright infringement.
    • Individuals: Freelance reporters and photographers may receive press credentials only after providing proof that they are recognized as professionals by stations that are currently purchasing their work. The CBA will review all freelance applications.

General Practices

  1. The CBA reserves the right to limit the number of press cards and press plates issued annually to any individual, station, or organization. Press cards are issued as an identification tool for state agencies and should not be considered a license for newspersons. Journalistic/reporting skills are not considered in the issuance of credentials. However, all journalists should adhere to the code of ethics as outlined by the RTNDA (www.rtnda.org) and the Society of Professional Journalists (www.spj.org).
  2. The CBA reserves the right to deny or revoke credentials for any individual, firm, or station. A letter citing the reasons for denial or revocation shall be sent to the applicant. Causes for revocation include, but are not limited to:
    • Complaints received from law enforcement or safety officials about credentialed individuals refusing to follow instructions.
    • Parking violations by vehicles with press plates.
  3. Persons denied credentials may appeal the decision to the CBA or its Board of Directors. Decisions of the Board shall be considered final.
  4. The CBA accepts no responsibility for the misuse of press credentials, nor for any incidents that occur as a result of their use.
  5. Fees for credentials will be set by the CBA, and credentials may not be resold. Press plates shall be considered CBA property leased to the station or individual for one calendar year. All such plates must be renewed by January 31st of the following year. At the time an individual leaves a station (or other organization granted credentials), that person’s plates must be returned to the CBA offices at 333 W Hampden Avenue, Suite 400, Englewood CO 80110. The CBA reserves the right to reverse plate colors or make other changes in the appearance of issued plates. All press plate numbers, and the individuals or station vehicles to which they’re assigned, will be kept on record at the CBA office.

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