ALERT: As a reminder, there is no exemption from catching the virus – just because the news media is deemed an “essential business” and exempt from shelter in place orders doesn’t mean that you are immune from COVID-19. Several photojournalists have been infected with the virus. Please exercise extreme caution for yourself and others. Please be careful out there.
How to ask public officials to make newsgathering, publishing and broadcasting as “essential”
As communities across the country issue “shelter-in-place” orders and other limitations on public movement, NPPA has been monitoring them to ensure that journalists can continue to do their important work covering the pandemic. All orders limiting movement that we have seen so far have included exemptions for the media. It is a good idea to print out the order from your area and carry it with you as well as proof of employment or other proof that you work in the news media industry.
If you see an order that needs to be evaluated or otherwise brought to the attention of NPPA’s attorneys, please forward it to us at [email protected] or [email protected]. The New York Times maintains a complete list.
How to ask public officials to clarify that newsgathering, publishing and broadcasting be “essential”
Story is here and includes information on how to contact your local representatives.
California’s COVID-19 guide for “Essential, Critical Infrastructure Workers” PDF is here.
Issued by Governor Gavin Newsom, the order identifies news organization employees as essential, including “Workers who support radio, television, and media service, including, but not limited to front line news reporters, studio, and technicians for newsgathering and reporting.”
Journalists are considered “essential” workers. Story is here.
Delaware Beaches are also closed.
Miami Dade County entered a non-essential business closure order effective March 19, 2020, which exempts the press. The PDF is here.
Journalists are considered "essential lodgers" at hotels and rentals. "Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services" are exempt. The PDF is here.
Effective at noon on March 24, 2020 – Governor Brian Kemp bans all gatherings of 10 or more people unless 6 feet apart at all times (no exceptions noted) and requires “shelter in place” for medically fragile individuals. All bars and clubs ordered closed. The order is here.
Second emergency ordinance, effective March 2020, requires closure of certain businesses but contains carve-out for media services as “essential” The pdf is here.
14-day “stay at home” executive order issued by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms effective March 24, 2020 – requires closure except of essential businesses and government services, parks, the Atlanta BeltLine, and restaurants serving takeout. “Essential businesses” includes media services, information is here.
Emergency ordinance, effective March 22, 2020 – orders closure of certain businesses but does not implicate media services. Information in here.
DeKalb County, GA
Emergency ordinance, effective March 23, 2020 – contains multiple restrictions, including 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. operating hours for businesses unless they are designed “essential,” which news media are. The PDF is here.
Dougherty County, GA
Executive order, effective March 22, 2020, requires business closures but contains a carve-out for media services. The PDF is here.
East Point, GA
Second Emergency Ordinance, effective March 23, 2020, requires certain business closures but contains a carve-out for media services. Information is here.
Emergency ordinance, effective March 21, 2020 – orders closure of certain business but does not implicate media services. Information is here.
All individuals ordered to stay at their home and all non-essential business must cease, except for essential activities and essential businesses. Essential businesses include “Media. Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services;” and their daycare centers.
Stay at home effective March 24, 11:59 p.m. Exempts Media, defined as NEwspapers, television, radio and other media services. Information is here.
Specifically notes “broadcast companies and stations” but likely intends to extend to news. The story is here.
A two-week stay-at-home order begins Tues 3/24 at noon. Essential services include “[w]orkers who support radio, television, and media service, including, but not limited to front line news reporters, studio, and technicians for newsgathering and reporting.”
The website is here.
The City of St. Louis stay at home order, which specifies exemptions for media PDF is here.
“Nothing in this Order shall be construed to limit, prohibit, or restrict in any way the operations of newspapers, television, radio, and other media services." PDF is here.
Effective Sunday, March 22, all non-essential businesses are closed. Information is here.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order Continuing Temporary Suspension and Modification of Laws Relating to the Disaster Emergency, which includes news media. March 19, 2020. The PDF is here.
Media and first amendment protected speech. Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services. The PDF is here.
Mechlenburg County has a Shelter in place order as of March 26. Media (newspapers, television, radion and other media services) are exempt. The PDF is here.
North Carolina Press Association and the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters sent to Gov. Roy Cooper on March 20. The PDF is here
Stay-at-home order contains exemptions for essential businesses including “Media. Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services.." The PDF is here.
Listing of news media as exempt: information is here.
Journalists are considered “essential” workers. The story is here.
“Safer at home” order includes “print, online and broadcast media” as essential Website is here.
All shelter in place orders in the major Texas cities exempt individuals performing work for essential businesses, including news media, and also exempt the childcare facilities that serve those performing essential services. All of the orders define news media as newspapers, television, radio, and other news media.
A letter sent to the Governor of Texas on behalf of the Texas Press Association. The PDF is here.
Austin Pdf is here.
Dallas Pdf is here.
El Paso Information is here.
Ft. Worth PDF is here.
Houston and Galveston (Harris County) Information is here.
San Antonio (and Bexar County) PDF is here.
Waco PDf is here.
A letter from Virginia Press Association sent to Virginia Gov. Northam on March 19. The PDF is here.