Accessibility mode is enabled

Skip to Top / Tab to View Menu Options
Skip to Left Navigation / Tab to View Content

City Hall Media Room Rules of Operation

The City Hall Media Room is a space designated for use by journalists who regularly report and publish news about the City of Sacramento government meetings. The room functions as a working “newsroom” that allows journalists to cover City Hall meetings. The Media Room is not meant for City employees, volunteers, interns, etc. unless the City employee, volunteer or intern is assisting media personnel with their work.

The City Hall Media Room is a place of business for professional journalists during City Council and other official City of Sacramento committee meetings. Neither these rules nor the City’s permission for persons to use the Media Room establish the Media Room as a public forum or a generally accessible public space of any kind.

By entering the Media Room, you agree to abide by the following rules:

  1. The City Hall Media Room is reserved for working journalists. Journalists may be asked to identify the name of any print or electronic periodic publication, news association or radio or television station that employs the press representative. If they have not previously worked with the City’s Office of Media and Communications, journalists may be asked to present a photo I.D. The Media Room will be open to journalists 15 minutes before the meeting starts and close 15 minutes after the meeting ends.
  2. Use of the City Hall Media Room’s limited seating, outlets and mult-box inputs are on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot be reserved. During high-attendance meetings, there may be additional guidelines and protocols. Those modifications will be communicated to journalists in advance of the meeting.
  3. The City Hall Media Room is not to be used for overnight storage of equipment or belongings at any time. Unattended items will be placed in the lost and found at the security kiosk. The City assumes no liability for items left unattended in any part of the City Hall Media Room. In addition, all Media Room users shall pick up after themselves and leave the room in the condition it was found.
  4. All members of the news media using the City Hall Media Room shall maintain a respectful and collegial atmosphere. Disruptive behavior or harassment in the Media Room is prohibited and will result in the offender’s immediate expulsion from the Media Room for the remainder of the day. Repeated disruptive behavior or harassment will result in the offender being prohibited from entering the Media Room.
    1. Disruptive behavior includes yelling or talking loudly; threatening, hostile or menacing behavior; unwanted interactions; and personal attacks against any occupant. In addition, harassment based on sex, race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, medical condition, marital status, sexual orientation, or any other protected category is prohibited. Harassment consists of unwelcome visual, verbal or physical conduct engaged in on account of a person’s actual or perceived membership in a protected category. The City of Sacramento will take all reasonable steps within its control to provide and maintain a Media Room in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Please report any disruptive behavior or harassment to City Hall security.
  5. Journalists using the Media Room shall not invite an individual into the Media Room unless the presence of the invitee is necessary to a City Hall-related newsgathering activity. Each user of the room is responsible for managing the invitee’s behavior, including refraining from loud conversations or behavior that disturbs the Media Room work environment.
  6. Snacks and drinks are allowed in the Media Room. Please throw empty wrappers and containers in the garbage. If a person’s eating or drinking becomes distracting to others, they may be asked to put their food or drink away or to leave the Media Room.
  7. The privilege of Media Room use is revocable at any time. Any repeat infractions of the rules will result in being excluded from using the room, with appeal being made to the Media and Communications Manager. Generally, repeat infractions will result in increasingly longer durations of exclusion from the Media Room, with the eventual result of complete exclusion from the Media Room upon the third infraction. However, the City may, in its sole discretion, exclude any person upon the first infraction.

If you have any questions, please contact Media and Communications Manager Tim Swanson at tswanson@cityofsacramento.org.

Media guidelines for return to in-person Council meetings 

Masks will be required in the media room, which, similar to Council Chambers, will be operating at 50% capacity. In total, 12 people will be allowed in the media room at one time. (This number will include a representative from the City’s media and communications team as well as a representative from the Mayor’s office.)

Reporters will be allowed into the media room on a first-come, first-served basis. If the media room becomes full, reporters can sit in Council Chambers so long as it is not over its allowed occupancy.

TV cameras are allowed in Council Chambers in the areas designated by tape on the sides of the room and on the back righthand side. Please note that media will not be allowed to stand on the ramp leading to the dais. Also, we are asking everyone to please practice social distancing.

If you have any questions, please email Media and Communications Manager Tim Swanson at tswanson@cityofsacramento.org.

Media guidelines for high-attendance City of Sacramento meetings

The City of Sacramento is committed to promoting civic engagement, making information readily available to the public and assisting the news media in its work.

In order to safely accommodate the public and journalists during high-attendance City meetings – including but not limited to City Council meetings -- the City has developed the following media guidelines for its Media Room and Council Chambers.

These procedures will be enacted only when the City expects attendance at a meeting to be at or near maximum occupancy.

Notification

The City via email will notify media outlets that regularly attend and cover City meetings if it expects a high-attendance meeting, ideally at least 24 hours before the meeting occurs. It also will post the notification on the City’s website to alert both local and non-local media.

Check-In

The City will check in representatives from the media one hour before the start of the meeting.

Journalists will check in with the City’s media and communications staff (MCS) before they go through security to enter Council Chambers. At the check-in, journalists will need to indicate if they need a location for camera placement in the Council Chambers. If not, they will be counted as an occupant of the Media Room.

Journalists will be asked to identify the name of any print or electronic periodic publication, news association or radio or television station that employs the press representative, as well as any other occupations or employment the journalists might have. If they previously have not worked with the City’s MCS, journalists may be asked to present a photo I.D. Journalists will be given a media pass by MCS at check-in. This media pass must be worn at all times during the meeting. It will allow journalists entry to the Media Room and access to and from the Media Room and Council Chambers in ways that are beyond what is available to the general public.

Media passes will be given to up to three representatives from a media outlet. If a media outlet would like additional journalists to attend the meeting, those people will need to enter as members of the general public.

All journalists need to check themselves in – a colleague cannot do it for them.

Media Room

The Media Room is designed as a professional work space for journalists with media passes. The room’s maximum occupancy is 24 people. Seating is limited and is on a first-come, first-served basis.

This room is not intended for overflow for the public during a meeting. A City staffer will be on-hand to control access and ensure the environment in the room remains conducive to working journalists.

Once maximum occupancy of the Media Room has been reached, journalists can either attempt to enter Council Chambers as members of the general public or they can watch the meeting in the City Hall foyer, which will be equipped with television screens.

Journalists in the Media Room will be allowed to enter the Council Chambers and report for brief periods of time. However, due to fire codes, they will not be allowed to remain there for extended periods unless seating is available.

If a journalist intends to stay in the Council Chambers for the duration of the meeting (and is not a videographer or photographer with a designated location), he or she must enter the Council Chambers as a member of the public.

Council Chambers

During a high-attendance meeting, the Council Chambers will have 15 locations identified for camera operators, videographers and photographers. Ten of these locations will be reserved for local media outlets that regularly cover City Council meetings and shoot video/photos:

  • Capital Public Radio
  • FOX 40
  • KCRA 3
  • KOVR 13
  • KXTV 10
  • The Sacramento Bee
  • The Sacramento News & Review
  • The Sacramento Observer
  • Telemundo 33
  • Univision 19

The remaining locations will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Each of the 15 locations is for a single journalist. If media with reserved locations have not checked in at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the meeting, their designated locations will be released and made available to other journalists.

Camera operators, videographers and photographers are expected to remain in their designated locations and not move around Council Chambers during the meeting. However, they can briefly leave these locations to get wide-angle and reverse-angle shots (without a tripod) so long as they are not impeding the public’s ability to enter, exit or move around the Chambers. They also are permitted to leave and re-enter the Council Chambers to file stories as needed. If journalists leave the Council Chambers’ secured areas, they will be required to go through another security screening.

If a camera operator, videographer or photographer with a designated location exits the Council Chambers for more than 30 minutes, his or her location may be released and made available to another journalist.

If all 15 camera spaces have been filled, journalists may set up cameras and shoot from the Media Room, provided there is space available.

City Hall Media Diagram

General Protected Areas

No persons, including media, shall be permitted to stand, loiter or wait in the carpeted area between the security check point and the Chambers’ doors. (This is the carpeted area between CH1104 and CH1104A and includes the vestibule near the Chambers’ doors.) Occupying this area, except for entry and exit, can present a danger to those in this space as well as those inside the Chambers. When possible, an area in the City Hall foyer (but still inside the secured area) will be designated as a place where journalists can interview members of the public.

 

 


 

Willfully disregarding any of these guidelines at a high-attendance City meeting could result in the immediate revocation of the media pass or be viewed as disruptive behavior, leading to immediate revocation and ejectment. The City respectfully asks media outlets and journalists to help create a safe environment where all attendees can exercise their First Amendment rights.