Marc Beja


I'm the Enterprise Editor at NYU's Washington Square News, and I'm trying to talk to other NYC college newspapers to see if you've been having similar issues dealing with the NYPD (specifically DCPI) as we've been having.

A few weeks ago, I heard about an incident involving allegations of a drunk off-duty officer pulling his gun on two guys outside an NYU dorm. When I pressed DCPI for information, they didn't respond, and said they didn't deal with student press. When I showed up at their office, as I had done in the past, they threatened to arrest me and had me escorted out of the building

Several reporters at the WSN, including myself, have had difficulty working with DCPI when reporting for our college newspapers, although I've had less trouble when working for Newsday, who I freelance with. 

I'm trying to get a poll of how successful other college papers in Manhattan have been in covering the NYPD, and trying to see if this is a problem across the board.


The Office of DCPI – AKA Deputy Commissioner of Public Information – also has a negative reputation with the ethnic news media in New York City, though it has to be said that it has on occasion reached out, so to speak. About a year ago, The deputy commissioner and a member of his staff participated in a conference for an organization now known as New York Community Media Alliance, which has almost 100 members of ethnic news media in New York City.  Check out WORD Senior Producer/Editor Jonathan Mena’s reporting, here and here. 

I wonder what will come of Beja’s efforts. Too many undergraduate news media in the New York metro area are pretty piss poor and the ones that are good and reputable have trouble getting respect from institutions like NYPD DCPI because of their faltering peers. Yet, I was a little surprise that Beja was threatened with arrest. There are shield laws [check here and here and here] that provide collegiate news reporters with the same protection as those of the paid working press, so it is clear that collegiate journalists are entitled to respect, legal and otherwise

Also, blogging and Youtube, for example, are responsible for blurring the distinctions that government institutions like NYPD DCPI have traditionally used to determine which applicants for its police press passes, are, so to say, legit.

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