Tonight: Freedom of information panel on press passes

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A few articles have been published over the past year or so about the availability of press passes in San Francisco, spurring a slew of questions: Who gets them? Why are they needed? What are the laws surrounding media access? And what are the rules governing the local process of issuing press badges, anyway?

To sort it out, the Freedom of Information Committee of the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is organizing a panel discussion today, June 21, at the San Francisco Public Library. It's not intended to be a debate, but an informational session for journalists and other interested parties to clear up some of the misconceptions surrounding press passes. Panelists will include Lt. Troy Dangerfield of the San Francisco Police Department's Media Relations unit, Acting City Administrator Amy Brown, Attorney David Greene of the First Amendment Project, and Chris Roberts, a reporter who has covered controversy surrounding press passes before.

The panel will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin St., in the Latino/Hispanic Community Meeting Room, located on the Library's lower level. (Enter at 30 Grove Street, proceed down stairs to the lower level.)