Rafael's Press Pass

rsz raffi Rafael's Press PassCity Hall blogger-gadfly Rafael Martinez-Alequin, who's been buzzing around this building for about two decades and has recently had an issue with getting into press conferences because he doesn't have a press pass, had his application for a press pass denied today.

The NYPD, which issues press credentials in the city, turned down Alequin because, according to their letter to him, he "failed to establish that applicant is a full-time employee of a news gathering organization covering spot or breaking news” and “failed to provide…one letter from one media employer indicating there were three articles or photographs published within twelve months immediately preceding the application.”

Alequin said he's appealing. The case is interesting because it tests the definition of a journalist in a day and age when anybody with a blog can lay claim to the profession.

Alequin has a blog, but he has also been poking at mayors with his off-beat questions at press conferences for years now. So Alequin is a recognizable figure to every reporter in City Hall.

He has been consulting noted civil rights attorney Norman Siegel about a response and they're keeping their legal options open, Alequin said.