City Council President Herb Wesson is trying to further limit media access to the backstage areas of the City Council chambers — and apparently to the press rooms. The new wrinkle is swipe cards for access. The cards would reportedly be available to City Hall regulars but not to media who come in often but who don't keep offices on the third floor. The Society of Professional Journalists LA chapter and the Radio-TV News Association of Southern California have scheduled an urgent meeting to make a protest.
* 2 p.m. update: From Edward Johnson, assistant chief deputy to Wesson:
Regarding your post on LA Observed, it is the recommendation of the LAPD that security at City Hall be improved. We believe that this can be accomplished without impeding the media from doing their jobs. We want the media to cover our meetings. There is no desire on the part of Councilmembers to keep the media from doing their jobs. Our meeting with the journalists tomorrow is to inform and address any concerns about access. This process will not be rushed.