A Los Angeles Police Department (also referred to as LAPD or Department) News Media Identification Card (also referred to as ‘media card’ or ‘press pass’) shall enable the bearer to pass through established police and/or fire lines within the City of Los Angeles in order to cover news events occurring behind such lines.
It is important to note a media card is not required to obtain or have access to information distributed to the media by the Department. Not having an LAPD media card would not prevent persons identifying as media from attending Department sponsored news conferences or events held in any public space.
In compliance with LAMC Section 52.16(A), eligibility is determined as:
“The Board is hereby authorized, and may delegate the authority to the Department, to issue news media identification cards (hereinafter “cards”) only to those whom the Board or the Department determines to be actual news-gathering representatives of newspapers or publications, news services, radio or television stations maintaining a regular news service or to self-employed reporters and photographers who regularly cover news events at which police and/or fire lines within the City of Los Angeles are established. The exclusive purpose of such cards shall be to enable the bearer thereof to pass through established police and fire lines in order to cover news events occurring behind such lines.”
Persons who regularly report from Council or committee meetings, on sporting events or activities, on entertainment news, or write or produce investigative news stories do not require an LAPD media card. These types of stories do not occur passed established police or fire lines, and do not fall under the criteria defined in LAMC Section 52.16(A).
Each applicant shall complete a California Department of Justice Fingerprint Background Check prior to the issuance of any new or renewed media card.
The media card remains the property of LAPD, and is subject to denial or revocation by the Department. The Department, in the exercise of its reasonable discretion, may deny or revoke a media card for reasons including, but not limited to, the following:
If the Department denies or revokes a media card, the applicant/holder can appeal the Department’s decision. The applicant/holder must submit their appeal in writing to the Board of Police Commissioners (BOPC). The BOPC will review the appeal and make a final determination. Any appeal to the BOPC must be postmarked within ten days after mailing of the denial letter. The BOPC, in its sole discretion, may consider late appeals only upon a showing of good cause. Good cause for purposes of this paragraph includes, but is not limited to, the failure of the Applicant to receive notice of the Department’s decision, or mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect.
If the media card is lost or stolen, the media card holder or their employer must report the media card lost/stolen with a policing agency. A copy of the report must be provided to the LAPD media card coordinator before a new media card will be re-issued.
If the media card holder changes employer, the holder must notify the LAPD media card coordinator of the change. If the media pass holder is no longer employed with the news organization, the media card must be surrendered to Media Relations Division immediately.
For additional information, contact the Department Media Pass Coordinator at (213) 486-5910.