by Justin Udo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Experts give journalists a crash course on their First Amendment rights of covering a protest during the Democratic National Convention set to take place later this month in Philadelphia.
Mickey Osterreicher with the National Press Photographers Association hosted a panel discussion Tuesday at Temple University to give people a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities while gathering news during the DNC.
“If people are out on a public street, where they have a legal right to be present, or on private property with the permission of the property holder, then they have a First Amendment right to photograph and record police doing whatever as long as they are not materially interfering,” said Osterreicher.
Osterreicher is talking to Philadelphia Police on Wednesday about how they can best conduct themselves.
“I’ll be going over their own directive. They’ve got a great policy, but policies are only pieces of paper without proper training,” he said.
Osterreicher says the more journalists and police are aware of what is and is not acceptable, the better off everyone is.
“I think it’s a win, win, win. What happens here is officers don’t get sued for arresting people and for violating their constitutional rights, citizens get to exercise those constitutional rights, and the public gets to be informed about what’s going on in the streets,” he said.