NCSL Media Policy


Organizational History

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.

NCSL's media and public affairs office provides assistance to members of the news media on state legislation and legislative activity across a broad spectrum of issue areas.  In the last few years, there has been a drop in the number of traditional news agencies and a surge in online and digital news outlets.

NCSL is committed to providing social, traditional and online journalists with the data, tools and analysis they need to accurately cover stories involving state legislatures. In an effort to provide this service, NCSL is willing to waive registration fees for the various meetings and events to credentialed members of the media. In addition, journalists may receive publications offered for sale in our NCSL bookstore for free. This includes a large majority of printed and electronic materials under the NCSL copyright.

NCSL’s Definition of Credentialed Media

In order to attend NCSL’s meeting and events, or obtain free copies of publications as a journalist, you must be a credentialed member of the media. NCSL retains the right to grant media passes to print journalists (newspapers, magazine), broadcast journalists (radio or television), wire and news services for redistribution to other news organizations, or online new services (electronic dissemination rather than conventional print and broadcast distribution). NCSL will recognize journalists who have obtained credentials from a capitol press corps, official press organization or the U.S. Congress.

NCSL will not allow journalists to register as “media” for the purpose of writing a personal online blog, or for persons whose news outlet is funded by a corporation; trade association; think-tank; public relations or marketing company/firm; individual; political candidate/party; or activist/lobbying organization. These individuals may still attend NCSL’s meetings, but must register as an association, lobbying group or individual and pay the corresponding registration fees. NCSL only accepts registrations during press room operating hours.

Interns and fellows may not register as media, or accompany journalists, unless they can provide the required media credentials as stated above.

Even if payment is made to attend NCSL's meetings, the following terms and conditions still apply.

You may contact NCSL’s Media and Public Affairs division with further questions or concerns.

Terms and Conditions for Use of Media Credentials at NCSL Meetings

  • NCSL media credentials must be visible at all times at the meeting or networking events.
  • No materials may be distributed by members of the media directly to legislators, legislative staff or attendees of an NCSL meeting. Materials, which include leaflets, handouts, pamphlets, magazines, newspapers, t-shirts, marketing materials and petitions, are to be left in the designated NCSL Press Room for our meeting attendees.
  • Members of the media may not solicit, advocate, rally or collect signatures on behalf of a political cause, issue or individual at an NCSL event in which they have registered as members of the media.
  • All requests to record or videotape at any NCSL meeting or function for the purpose of rebroadcasting must be made and approved through NCSL Communications Division.
  • NCSL will only allow authorized representatives of the entities noted above to be approved and the approval is not transferable.  Approval is needed for each NCSL meeting, event or publication.
  • All NCSL publications, including PDFs, are the copyrighted property of NCSL and may not be reproduced, uploaded or distributed in any way in their entirety without permission.
  • NCSL has the right to remove individuals from a meeting or function who do not abide by the above terms and conditions.