Update....for the details of the John McCain election night plans and coverage costs, click here
WASHINGTON---The Obama campaign is putting a hefty price tag on the best camera and reporting positions for news organizations covering Barack Obama's outdoor election night activities in downtown Chicago. If a reporter wants access to the file center--which will be the best place to find Obama officials and spokesmen--be prepared to write a check for $935. The cheapest place a reporter could stand on a riser with a view is $880.
That $935 covers one reporter in a heated file tent, power, cable tv, internet and food. I am told by an Obama spokesman who did not want his name used that this just covers costs and they are not turning a profit on this. The planners could have built in more al a carte options for Grant Park coverage.
This is an outrageous pay to play plan that caters to national elite outlets with deep pockets.
I am not asking for a free ride--news outlets pay for plane seats, other transportation organized by the campaign, hotel rooms, plus associated costs for filing centers.
But this Election Night list is pricey and does not take into account some reporters won't need power, cable, internet or food but will crave the access more than the food. As I was talking to this unnamed spokesman about this enormously expensive set-up, he did say--that a news outlet could rotate people in and out of the tent on that one credential. Great.
A general media area will be created where a reporter could watch for free, but the set-up is separate, unequal and clearly second class when it comes to getting top access to campaign people.
The campaign could not have made going to the free space more unappealing. If will be "outdoors, unassigned and may have obstructed views. General Media Area credentials do not include access to riser positions, satellite truck parking or the press filing center."
UPDATE To be clear: no one is asking for anything to be free for the press. It's just that the package of services packaged by the campaign is expensive and includes things not every outlet needs.
Obama's top donors--not the masses who donated the $5, $10 and $25 the campaign brag about--will have VIP access throughout election night and received an early heads up a week ago to plan to spend Election Night in Chicago.
Here's a story about this posted by Greg Hinz at Crain's Chicago Business.
Click below for the price list
FROM THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN....
The following coverage resource packages are available for purchase:
* Main Riser Position - $935 (Includes 4 Main Riser Credentials, 5'x8' Slot on Covered Main Riser and one 20 amp circuit)
* Main Riser Position with Telecommunications - $1870 (Includes Main Riser Position services, PLUS two unlimited long distance/local phone lines and one wired high speed internet connection)
* Cut Riser Position - $880 (Includes 4 Cut Riser Credentials, 5'x8' Slot on Covered Cut Riser, one 20 amp circuit)
* Cut Riser Position with Telecommunications - $1815 (Includes Cut Riser Position services, PLUS two unlimited long distance/local phone lines and one wired high speed internet connection)
* Press File Seat - $935 (includes 1 Press File Credential, seat in heated Press File Tent, Power, Cable Television, High Speed Wired Internet Service, Catering)
* Satellite Truck Position - $900 (includes 35'x20' parking position and 100 amp electrical service)
* Radio Position - $715 (includes table space and chair behind the riser, power and an ISDN BRI line for radio -- comes with two credentials)
Billing information must be submitted at as part of the request. Your credit card will not be charged until the campaign confirms your coverage resource package request.
(a link deleted)
Additional services may be purchased a la carte:
* Unlimited Long Distance Phone Line - $300
* High Speed Wired Internet - $275
* One 20 amp circuit - $165
For telephone service internet connectivity and additional power, orders must be placed by October 23rd, 2008. For questions on pricing or additional telecommunications assistance, please contact (deleted)
The following credentials may be requested at no cost:
* General Press Area - No Charge (Includes access to bike racked press area with standing room only)
You must fill out the form to the right to request each individual General Press Area credential.
Request media credentials for the Election Night event:
Credentials to access the General Media Area are available at no cost. Please note that the General Media Area is outdoors, unassigned and may have obstructed views. General Media Area credentials do not include access to riser positions, satellite truck parking or the press filing center.
Access to those resources are available for purchase at (link deleted). Space is limited.
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Media Outlet/Affiliation: *
Media call letters (if applicable):
Base of Operations:
Country name (required if international):
City media outlet is based: *
* denotes required field