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Hill Press Corps Slams GOP 'Cover' Charge

The chairs of the Congressional Periodical and Daily Press galleries Tuesday are urging the Republican National Convention Committee to change its decision to charge an access fee for covering the 2016 Republican National Convention (Cleveland, July 18-21).

The plan is to charge the press $150 for a seat on the press risers, which previously have been gratis.

Reporters who don't pay will still be allowed into the Quicken Loans Arena, but "the vantage points they will be given will not allow them to follow convention proceedings, gain access to the convention floor to interview public officials, nor file stories on the event," said Heather Rothman, chair, executive committee, of Periodical Correspondents, and Jonathan Salant, chair of the  Standing Committee of Correspondents.

"We urge the RNCC 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," they said in a statement.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.