Media Melee: Ethnic Press Fights for Access to RNC

Republicans couldn’t have picked a more cosmopolitan location
for their upcoming convention. New York City is home to countless
minority and immigrant communities, many of whom will be directly
affected by the results of the 2004 election. Local ethnic
newspapers, then, were shocked to find that their applications for
press credentials to the convention were rejected, sometimes
without any explanation. Though ethnic newspapers had no trouble
accessing the Democratic National Convention in Boston, some New
York publications feel they were given the run-around by
Republicans. ‘I think they suspected the ethnic media doesn’t
matter,’ said Karen Juanita Carrillo of the Independent Press
Association, an umbrella organization for smaller independent
publications.

The trouble began last week when IPA members began having their
credential applications denied, often with cryptic curtness. A
reporter from the Haitian Times, for example, said her
rejection letter was just two lines long, and didn’t explain why
her request had been denied. Moreover, her repeated requests for
information following her rejection were fruitless. After pressure
from the IPA, however, Republicans relented and granted the groups
in question access to the convention. Macollvie Jean-Francois, the
reporter for the Haitian Times, expresses the ethnic
press’s predominant thought about the incident: ‘I’m wondering if
they would treat reporters from the L.A. Times or the
New York Times the same way. I doubt that very
highly.’
Brendan Themes

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Media Melee: Ethnic Press Fights for Access to RNC

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