The Wisconsin Capitol Correspondents Association met Wednesday, Dec. 5, and voted to recommend criteria for issuing credentials to media representatives covering the state Senate and Assembly.   
 
Following the vote, the WCCA voted to disband.  It will be replaced with a new Wisconsin Capitol Correspondents Board whose members are going to be appointed by Feb. 15.  That board will meet to forward future recommendations to the Legislature related to credentialing and to serve as a conduit for concerns the Legislature has related to those issues. A copy of the WCCA recommendations for 2013-2015 Credentialing follows: 
 

Wisconsin Capitol Correspondents Association Recommendations for 2013-15 Credentialing

 1.1   Qualifications for Credentials 

The WCCA recommends the following qualifications for eligibility for registration:  

The applicant is or represents an organization whose core function is gathering news in one of the following categories: 

  • Newspaper of general circulation, including college student publications.  

  • Wire services that routinely have materials published through news outlets of general interest.   

  • Paid, subscription-based information services published on a regular basis 

  • Radio stations. 

  • Radio networks. 

  • Television stations.  

  • Cable television stations offering public affairs programming.  

  • Magazines of general interest. Photo service companies or paid stringers working on behalf of a qualified organization.  

2.1 Application for Temporary Credentials 

The WCCA recommends all media requesting a day pass to legislative floor action shall submit a request to the Sergeant at Arms and Chief Clerk 24 hours prior to entry, including media requesting access for the State of the State and Biennial Budget Address. 

3.1 Conduct and Ethics for Credentialed Media 

The WCCA recommends: 

All registrants abide by the rules of the applicable legislative chamber.  Registrants shall not act as an agent in the prosecution of claims, become engaged or assist, direct or indirectly, in any lobbying, promotion, advertising, or public activity intended to influence legislation or any other action of the Legislature, nor any matter before any independent agency, or any department or instrumentality of the Governor’s office. 

All registrants shall hold the highest journalism standards and shall follow the Code of Ethics as established by the Society of Professional Journalists, specifically: 

  • Avoid conflict of interest, real or perceived. 

  • Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility . 

  • Refuse gifts, favors, fees, and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organization if they compromise journalistic integrity. 

  • Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage. 

4.1 Appeals 

The WCCA recommends the Legislature maintain an appeals process for individuals/organizations who are denied or revoked.