GOP to charge media for construction cost at RNC convention

Owing to a chain of costly circumstances, the Republican National Committee (RNC) announced the media will be required to pay a $150 fee to cover a small percentage of the cost for erecting seating arrangements for the national media at next year’s RNC convention in Cleveland.

The RNC calculates the cost to build seating is $750 per seat.

This was unwelcome news for the national media.

“We are concerned that the proposed fee smacks of forcing the press to pay for news gathering,” said Heather Rothman, chairwoman of the Executive Committee of Periodical Correspondents, and Jonathan D. Salant, chairman of the Standing Committee of Correspondents. “We urge the (GOP convention committee) to follow the precedent of previous conventions of both parties and drop plans for an access fee so the press can continue to inform the public about a major news event.”

In an attempt to clarify the reason for the charge, the RNC responded:

There is no access fee,” said spokeswoman Alison Moore. “For outlets which prefer a special work station, there will be a minimal charge for construction at a fraction of the actual cost.

While it is no secret the RNC holds most media organizations in utter contempt, passing on a part, a fraction rather, of the construction cost for unique modules or special seating is not unreasonable.

While charging a small fee to offset costs may be perceived as flimsy and far-fetched, the response smacks of a bitterness that they are not special and they have adopted the allegation the RNC is charging an entry fee.

This is a small sacrifice which the less-fortunate news organizations can provide for.  Major cable and television networks have for years covered the entire cost of sky-boxes constructed during the four-day event.

The media should embrace this measly hardship; they may find it liberating to actually pay for something for a change.


[AP] [Photo courtesy CNN]