Under the header “COVERAGE GUIDELINES + PRESS LOGISTICS – RTCA DINNER” the annual Radio & TV Congressional Dinner has announced rules for the press for this evening’s dinner. The speakers will be White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Parks & Recreation‘s Nick Offerman.
The email from dinner chairwoman and CNN’s Lisa Desjardins, explains that there are rules because the dinner is largely a social affair where “individual conversations are considered off record.”
The “coverage guidelines” are as follows. Are they too strict? You decide.
1. You may observe any part of the event, including the reception.
2. Interviews. You may interview guests, but only outside of the ongoing events. Thus, you may not interview guests in the reception area while the reception is underway or in the ballroom once the dinner has begun. If you would like to interview someone, simply ask them to step outside of the event space – into a neighboring hallway or the floor above, for example.
3. Credentials. You must wear some form of credential during the dinner. This could be your company credential or an RTCA Capitol Hill pass. If you do not have a credential, we will ask you to fill out a name tag and add the words “working press”.
4. Still photography of the main program is allowed, but we will ask you to carefully stay out of sight lines for our guests and that you limit your photo-taking time to within reason. For example, we do not want a still photographer stationed in front of the head table for extensive periods of time
5. Dress. You are welcome to be in black tie for the dinner, but for semiformal dress or a suit for men is also fine.
6. Information/handouts. Because we are a volunteer organization ourselves, we do not have a staff to coordinate PR. For that reason, we do not plan to have handouts with bios or background information for you. I am sorry about that. And perhaps I am wrong to just admit that upfront, but I want you to be able to do research ahead of time if needed.