General Conference 2008: About the Newsroom
The General Conference Newsroom number, beginning April 23, will be (817) 698-4405.
During General Conference:
- News media queries should be made to Diane Denton, Public Information director for United Methodist Communications, at (615) 483-1765 (cell) or (817) 698-4402, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Questions about the General Conference Newsroom can be directed to Tim Tanton, director, United Methodist News Service, at (615) 415-0147 (cell) or (817) 6984405, or by e-mail to email@example.com.
Before and after General Conference, calls regarding United Methodist News Service can be made at (615) 742-5470, and media calls can be made to Public Information at United Methodist Communications at (615) 742-5406.
The newsroom is in Hall D on the ground floor of the Fort Worth Convention Center. Monday-Saturday hours are 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Sunday hours will be posted. The newsroom is a no-smoking area.
Press Registration and Badges
The newsroom is reserved for working press only. To be accredited, individuals must show proof that they represent a legitimate publication or news organization and will be filing stories during the conference. Accredited reporters may conduct interviews with delegates and other attendees in the newsroom. The guests are to be accompanied at all times by the reporter.
Registration will begin at 8 a.m. Wednesday, April 23, in the newsroom and continue throughout the conference. Each person registered will receive a badge, which must be worn at all times in order to enter the newsroom, press seating areas and legislative committee meetings.
Plenary Seating for Reporters
Seating for accredited reporters in the assembly hall is available in the seating section to the left of the dais, as you face the dais. Photographers may obtain access to the main floor for up to one hour at a time with an armband provided at the Registration Desk in the newsroom. A limited number of armbands will be available at any time, so it is important that the one-hour time limit is honored in order for everyone to have a chance to take photos on the floor. United Methodist Communications photographers will also be taking photographs throughout the event for your use (see Photographic Services below).
Closed-circuit television in the convention center will carry conference proceedings. The newsroom will have several monitors. On the large screen in plenary sessions, the name of the person speaking will be superimposed along with the legislation paragraph number in the Daily Christian Advocate.
The News Desk oversees United Methodist News Service's coverage of the General Conference. It is staffed at all times with people who can assist reporters with background information and other needs. UMNS has a staff person covering each major activity and action of the conference.
Copies of the following resources will be kept at the News Desk: Proceedings from the 2004 General Conference; the Bible, New Revised Standard Version; The 2004 Book of Discipline and The 2004 Book of Resolutions (statements on social, political and moral issues); 2006 edition of The General Minutes (statistical information about church membership, ministerial appointments, etc.); a dictionary, a thesaurus and The Associated Press Stylebook; and the United Methodist Hymnal and the United Methodist Book of Worship.
Public Information/Media Relations
The Public Information office, located near the news briefing area, can help reporters with sources and background information. The office also arranges press conferences in the newsroom.
News Service Reports
All UMNS stories, photographs, radio reports and TV features are available online at www.gc2008.umc.org. Reporters can make printouts of stories from their computers using a newsroom printer if necessary.
The official General Conference Web site, www.gc2008.umc.org, provides links to general agency petitions, proposals and reports, and a list of delegates, along with the legislative committees to which they are assigned and the paragraphs of the Book of Discipline with which they will work. This same information appears in the Advance Daily Christian Advocate.
Each accredited news organization is assigned a folder for receiving messages and other items. The folders are at the Registration Desk at the entrance to the newsroom. Only newsroom staff will distribute information to the folders. A table near the entrance of the newsroom is designated for printed material from caucuses and special-interest groups.
Reporters are expected to bring their own computers. The newsroom is equipped with printers. The General Conference Newsroom is a largely wireless operation. Reporters can gain access to the system by obtaining a password upon registration. This password is only for media use. A limited number of hard-wired modem lines and phone hookups are available.
Reporters are asked to use their cellular phones when making calls from the newsroom or to charge any land-line calls to their own credit cards. In courtesy for those around you, please set your phones on low volume or vibrate. Fax machines are available in the workroom near the Registration Desk. Please see a newsroom staff person for assistance.
UMNS has four photographers covering the General Conference. Photos are available of every major news development related to the conference. The photos are free of charge, and obtaining them is a self-service process. Questions or special needs should be directed to the News Desk, not the Photo Team. Hard-copy prints will not be available for delivery during the General Conference.
During plenary sessions, the number of nonstaff photographers on the conference floor is limited to five. One-hour passes are available at the Registration Desk on a first-come basis. Please be as unobtrusive as possible while working on the assembly floor.
Services, available to accredited press, include:
- Video and audio feed of all plenary sessions.
- Videotape dubs of plenary sessions available for the cost of the tape.
All services must be scheduled in advance.
Please contact Harry Leake in Video Services, located in the newsroom, formore information.
Key events during General Conference can be viewed online as they happen. Live video streaming will be provided of the Episcopal Address, Laity Address, Young People's Address, daily morning worship services and other highlights at www.gc2008.umc.org.
UMTV is producing 90-second, TV-ready stories during General Conference. These stories are provided to news organizations through www.gc2008.umc.org and www.umtv.org. News stations may also request beta dubs at the News Desk. The video reports will be streamed online and posted on the General Conference and UMNS Web pages.
Stories ready for radio broadcast will be available daily at www.gc2008.umc.org.
Printing and Copying
Printers and copiers are available for limited use in the newsroom. For large numbers of copies, you may be referred to a full-service print shop nearby.