The Digital Media Law Project (formerly known as the Citizen Media Law Project) is out with a timely guide for journalists on covering the Republican and Democratic national conventions this month. It’s 74 pages on your legal rights when dealing with party officials, what gear to pack, and what to do if you are arrested (“Stay Calm, Ask for an Attorney, then Stay Silent”). (There’s a pocket-sized edition, too.)
Notably, the guide also breaks down local laws on assembly, recording/wiretapping, and identification for Tampa and Charlotte respectively. And this note:
Unlike some other cities, wearing a press credential in Charlotte and Tampa will not confer any broader right to access restricted places (aside from the ofﬁcial convention credentials, which will allow access to the convention itself). Credentials will not guarantee special treatment by the police, but they are nevertheless an important tool in self-identiﬁcation…police at conventions have previously allowed journalists to self-identify using press credentials in order to quickly release reporters caught up during sweep-arrests. At the very least, it will alert the police that you are there as an independent and observing entity.
— Justin Ellis