Charleston, WV - With impeachment proceedings set to resume with the full House of Delegates Monday, along with a potential influx of additional national media to observe proceedings, House staff wanted to take this opportunity to remind the press corps of the rules and protocols for media coverage of House proceedings.
The House of Delegates recognizes the historic nature of this event and will do everything it can to reasonably accommodate media covering this process. However, we must also strike a balance to ensure the legislative process can proceed with minimal disruption and that all applicable House rules are observed.
As a reminder, here are the media and credentialing guidelines for covering the West Virginia House of Delegates:
MEDIA GUIDELINES FOR SESSION COVERAGE
Credentialed members of the news media are granted floor privileges during the legislative session. Press must display ID badges at all times on the floor; badges are available through the Office of Reference and Information (Room MB-27 in the Capitol basement).
Limited seating in the House Chamber is available for press on a first-come, first-serve basis. There are six seats available at the press tables located at the front tables in the House Chamber. Chairs located around the edge of the chamber are reserved for legislative staff only. If additional seating is required for members of the media, sections of the galleries overlooking the chamber can be reserved for the press. Television camera crews can set up in the rear of the chamber, where access to audio equipment is available.
All members of the media who take advantage of floor privileges must obey all applicable House rules regarding decorum during sessions. (House Rules can be read here.)
Those rules include the following:
Anyone caught violating House rules is subject to removal from the floor by the Doorkeeper or Sergeant-At-Arms. Press will be asked to cover the remainder of the floor session from the public galleries located in the upper floor of the Chamber.
Applications for media credentials are available in Legislature’s Office of Reference and Information, located in room MB-27 in the basement across from the Capitol Press Room and west of the Cafeteria. (Maps of the interior of the Capitol can be viewed here.)
Credential applications must be approved by the Standing Committee of Correspondents, a group of statehouse journalists who verify an applicant meets professional standards of the press.
Credentialing requirements set forth by the committee:
Temporary press passes are available should a person not be able to locate a member of the Standing Committee of Correspondents, or if they are under time constraints for coverage. Temporary passes can be obtained from the Sergeant-At-Arms or Communications Director.
The primary media contact for the House of Delegates is:
West Virginia House of Delegates
State Capitol, Building 1, Room 240
(Cell phone number available at request)
Here is the specific House Rule (Rule 138) dealing with media access:
News Correspondents and Reporters
(a) Any person accorded the privilege of the press gallery or press table must be a news correspondent or reporter for a newspaper, a radio or television station, or of a recognized press association, who is not engaged in any department of state government, or in any other business; and no more than one representative of each shall be admitted to the press table or press gallery at one time.
(b) All applications for admission to the press gallery or press table must be made to the Speaker. Such applications shall state the name and location of the newspaper, news association, radio or television station, and be signed by the applicant. The Speaker may request the news representatives to establish a committee on accreditation of applicants, and he shall consider recommendations made by such committee.
(c) The Speaker shall verify statements made in such application, and if the application is approved by him, he shall issue a correspondent's card, signed by him.
(d) The correspondents shall not visit the members in their seats during the session of the House, and shall abide by such rules and regulations as may be adopted by the Rules Committee of the House.
(e) The card issued by the Speaker must be presented when required by any Sergeant at Arms. It shall not be transferable. The transfer or loan of such card to anyone shall be followed by its cancellation and the withdrawal of all its privileges from the correspondent so offending.
(f) The gallery or press tables allotted to news correspondents shall be for their exclusive use, and persons not holding correspondents' cards shall not be entitled to admission thereto.
Additional House Rules can be read here: http://www.wvlegislature.gov/House/rules.cfm