The Wisconsin State Legislature has established a process for members of the media to apply for Legislative credentials to gain access to the floor during legislative sessions of the Assembly and Senate for the 2015-2016 legislative session. The recommendations for credentialing media put forth by the Wisconsin Capitol Correspondents Board (WCCB) are used to determine who receives credentials.
WCCB recommends that the applicant is or represents an organization whose core function is gathering news in one of the following categories:
- Newspapers of general circulation, including college student publications.
- Wire services that routinely have material published on a regular basis.
- 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.
- Online news services.
The credentials issued for use in the Legislature are not to be used outside of these entities. Journalists must only submit materials for the media outlet for which they seek credentialing. The Senate and/or Assembly can revoke and/or remove credentials at any time. All credentialed members of the media are representing their organization. Each house has their respective rules that govern conduct in their Chambers. (Chapter 2 in the Senate outlines Order and Decorum and Rule 26 in the Assembly outlines Conduct in the Chamber.)
Members of the media granted access to either Chamber are expected to abide by the rules and expectations laid out by the body. In addition, the Wisconsin Capitol Correspondents Board (WCCB)’s recommendations on Conduct and Ethics (as outlined below) are to be followed.
All registrants must abide by the rules of the applicable legislative chamber, which includes the following. 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, including:
- Avoid conflicts 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.
A violation of these rules may result in the revocation of a credential or a denial of an application.
Proof of employment (business card, company photo I.D. or letter with media outlet letterhead) must be attached at the time of application. Credentials must be submitted 24 hours in advance for special events (such as State of the State, Budget Address, and Inauguration). Please submit all other requests for credentials by 5 p.m. the day prior to a legislative session day; any request made after that time may be subject to a delay. Sessional credentials are good for all legislative days including the special legislative events held during a floor session.
I agree to abide by the rules and expectations of the Legislature. I understand that failure to do so can result in the removal/revocation of credentials.*
*Appeals can be made in writing to the Joint Committee on Legislative Organization (JCLO). Please send appeals to the JCLO chairs. Confirmation of receipt of appeal will be issued in writing by the offices of the JCLO chairs. If the committee does not act on the appeal within 30 days of confirmation, the initial judgment will stand.