NASA Office of Logic Design

NASA Office of Logic Design

A scientific study of the problems of digital engineering for space flight systems,
with a view to their practical solution.

2004 MAPLD International Conference

Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
Washington, D.C.

September 8-10, 2004

Media Policy


It is the continuing policy of the MAPLD International Conference to welcome members of the media.  Accredited media representatives will be registered as a Conference Attendee and will be eligible for all Technical Sessions and the Conference Proceedings. 

To apply for media accreditation, please make your request in advance.  You may apply via email to address, with the source of the e-mail coming from the news-gathering organization.  Alternatively, you may apply by either mail or fax (301-286-0220), making your request on letterhead of the requesting media organization.

Attn: Richard B. Katz, Chairman, MAPLD
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Office of Logic Design, Code 564
Greenbelt, MD 20771

In general, we will follow the current NASA policy on media accreditation, which is reproduced below.  All requests must be made directly to the address above and requests will be either granted or denied by the MAPLD Chairman.  All appeals must be made to the address above and appeals will be reviewed with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Public Affairs Office, for consistent interpretation of the guidelines.

Richard B. Katz
Chairman, MAPLD International Conference

NASA Office of Public Affairs Policy for Accrediting Media Representatives

APPROVED -- 5/24/00


As a publicly funded agency charged with disseminating information about its programs as widely as possible, NASA is committed to making access to its facilities and personnel as free and open as possible. Therefore, it is the policy of NASA's Office of Public Affairs and the public affairs organizations at all NASA field centers to provide accreditation to representatives of the news media, along with necessary access to NASA facilities and officials.


A member of the media is anyone engaged in the acquisition of news with the intent of disseminating it through anyone of a number of media.

Recognized media used to disseminate news and information include: TV, radio, newspaper, magazine, books, documentary film/video productions, the Internet, and various wireless delivery formats.

Only individuals engaged in these activities will be recognized as "working journalists" and permitted access to NASA media events.


NASA is under no obligation to grant credentials to anyone not deemed to fall within these published guidelines. Once accredited, a media representative will be afforded all privileges offered to all accredited representatives, including entry to NASA briefings, opportunities to interview NASA officials, access to NASA facilities open to news media, and access to published documents and photographs.

Accreditation granted for one event does not guarantee accreditation to future events.


Unprofessional activities will not be tolerated. Unprofessional activities include:

  1. Seeking autographs
  2. Collecting government-provided materials (photographs and other written products) for purposes other than publication or background research
  3. Working as an employee of or a consultant to NASA or companies doing business with NASA
  4. Any behavior deemed disruptive to other journalists, NASA operations or personnel
  5. Any behavior deemed unlawful

All media representatives granted accreditation must agree to these ground rules in writing by signing their accreditation application.

All accredited media must also agree to abide by safety and security rules established by the NASA center they are visiting. Failure to do so may result in suspension or revocation of their credentials.

These rules and other guidelines are printed on the back of news media badges or distributed at the time of accreditation.


A media representative must be employed by or performing work on behalf of such news-gathering organizations as: newspapers, magazines, trade newsletters, television or radio stations, independent production companies or Internet news sites. (Individuals not employed by such organizations will be considered freelancer. See section VII.)

Requests for accreditation must be submitted in writing (whether delivered in person, by mail, or transmitted by fax) on the letterhead of the requesting media organization. These requests should be sent to the attention of the News Chief at the NASA facility where accreditation is being sought.

In general, personal information required for media accreditation must come on the organizational letterhead and include:

  1. Full name as it appears on a driver's license, passport, or other official identification document
  2. Social Security number or passport number
  3. Date of birth

News media representatives should contact the Public Affairs Office at the NASA facility where accreditation is being sought to determine what information is required to be submitted with the accreditation request.

Accreditation will generally be granted to representatives of television, radio and print media if the requesting organization is listed in a commonly accepted media directory such as Working Press of the Nation, Bacon's International Media Directory, the Gale Directory of Publications and Broadcast Media, or Editor and Publisher's Annual Yearbook.

In the case of media not typically listed in these directories (e.g. independent film production companies, Internet sites, etc.), a determination will be made by the News Chief based on the following criteria:

  1. The organization must have a history in publishing, producing or disseminating information.
  2. The individuals requesting credentials must meet the definition of media (working journalist) as defined in Section II.

If the individuals or organizations do not meet the above criteria, they may be classified as "freelance" and granted access under special rules for freelancers (See Section IV) at the determination of the News Chief.


At the discretion of each center's News Chief, NASA may issue long-term media credentials (typically valid for one year) to media whose assignments require frequent access (four or more times a year) to a NASA facility.

In most cases, freelancers and foreign nationals will not be permitted annual credentials. They instead will be accredited on an event-by-event basis (see Special Rules Category in Section VII). However, this rule may be waived for individuals with a sufficient history as a "working journalist" as defined in Section II.

NASA may issue a single credential permitting media access to multiple NASA facilities during Space Shuttle missions. Any individual granted such accreditation will be permitted access to other NASA facilities involved in the mission or event without making additional credential requests.



Citizens of countries other than the United States who represent any U.S. or foreign media organization must submit in writing the same information required of U.S. citizens and a passport number. All requests from foreign nationals must be made through and approved by the international affairs PAO at NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C., and not by the field centers. Foreign nationals requesting credentials must have their affiliate organization listed with the Washington Foreign Press Center. Otherwise, they may be accredited at NASA's discretion.


Freelancers on assignment from a media organization will be considered "working press" as defined in Section II and granted accreditation if requirements in Section V are met.

In cases where freelancers are not on assignment from a media organization, individuals must show examples of previous work from the past three years.

If examples of previous work cannot be shown, freelancers will be granted accreditation under the following conditions:

  1. Requests must be made at least one week in advance of the event.
  2. Access will be granted for a period of no more than six months. After that time, the freelancer must demonstrate proof of having materials published or produced or show that materials are being considered for use.
  3. Individuals without proof of previous work (as defined in item (2)) may be subjected to a security background check before accreditation is granted.
  4. These individuals will only be permitted to attend announced press briefings, events, or activities and may be excluded from interviews or tours that require extended special access or significant NASA personnel support when other media on assignment will not be attending.

NASA reserves the right to limit the number of freelancers attending any event who cannot show examples of previous work.

The News Chief at each NASA facility is authorized to set and enforce limits on the number of unpublished freelance journalists depending on the accommodations available.


Students who make requests to attend a NASA-hosted event will be permitted to do so under certain restrictions.

  1. The school must make the request for the student and identify him or her as being enrolled in the school.
  2. Students under the age of 18 must be under the supervision of a teacher from that school at all times while at the NASA event or facility.
  3. Students attending the event must be doing so for purposes of reporting on the event via a school sponsored medium (i.e. yearbook, web page or student newspaper).
  4. Each school is limited to no more than two students, plus two teacher/sponsors per event, unless the NASA Public Affairs office hosting the event grants an exception.
  5. No more than 10 colleges or high schools may be represented at anyone event unless the NASA Public Affairs office hosting the event grants an exception.
  6. Permission for a college or high school to attend a NASA event will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. In cases of limited space, college students will be granted preference over high school students.


Publications that will not be granted accreditation include:

  1. Circulars with content limited to advertising
  2. Local community service group, hobby, or social group fliers


Access to working space: NASA centers try to provide working space for all accredited media. However, working space and other resources are limited. During high-visibility events, NASA centers may not be able to accommodate all requests for working space and will allocate those resources at their discretion, generally first come, first served. However, NASA has the right to reserve a portion of working space for media outlets as deemed appropriate.

Access to facilities: For safety, security or programmatic reasons, NASA centers may limit reporters' access to specific sites. The Office of Public Affairs will work with media representatives to gain appropriate access to those facilities when news events warrant.

In general, NASA strives to provide ready access to people and facilities on a non- interference basis. Safety and the successful completion of its missions are NASA's first priorities. At the same time, fair and open access to NASA personnel and activities is a high priority.

Where conflicts arise between these goals, the Office of Public Affairs will strive to reach accommodation as quickly and fairly as possible. In high interest events or contingencies, NASA may choose, at its discretion, to require a media pool for media access. Members of the media requesting accommodation or access will select media pools. NASA personnel will not be involved in the selection of media pool representatives.

Access to NASA personnel: The Office of Public Affairs will make every reasonable effort to honor media requests for interviews with NASA officials. If interest is deemed great enough, a press conference may be held. Individual interviews will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Briefings: All properly accredited media are free to pose questions at the designated times and under the guidelines established by the NASA moderator.

During certain press conferences, limits on questions may be imposed because of certain time limitations. If the NASA moderator imposes limits, the media may be asked to confine their questions to one or two per person. During time critical events, NASA may ask the media to pool their questions. A pool will be formed from the media present as determined by the media members themselves. NASA personnel will not be involved in determining pool representatives.

Accrediting Officials: In general, only the Public Affairs Offices at NASA Centers are authorized to grant media accreditation for working journalists. Other NASA organizations or their designees may badge media individuals for general VIP tours or non-working visits. All other visits from media must be processed through the Public Affairs Office.


While visiting NASA facilities, accredited media representatives must respect and abide by NASA policies, including the Terms of Accreditation referenced in the sections above. Failure to do so may result in temporary suspension or permanent revocation of NASA press accreditation. Revocation or suspension of accreditation will apply to the individual only, and not to their affiliate organization. Individuals who violate NASA Safety or Security policies will not be candidates for having denied accreditation requests reviewed by the Media Credentials Review Board (See Section XV).


The Office of Public Affairs recognizes emergency situations are often inherently newsworthy and will try to work with media representatives to help them cover these stories when they happen. However, the safety of NASA personnel, media representatives and civilians are the highest priority, and media representatives must follow instructions from Public Affairs personnel and NASA security officials. Failure to do so may result in temporary suspension or permanent revocation of NASA press credentials.

In the event of a contingency where a large number of media seek accreditation within a short period of time, or during very high profile missions or events that will see a very high media attendance, NASA reserves the right to limit access per organization. Written accreditation requirements may be waived in a contingency situation and requests placed by phone or e-mail for periods of time if convenient for NASA Public Affairs and the media.


Media who request access to NASA facilities for individual story events that do not qualify as "breaking news" as determined by the News Chief, must make their request in writing (either by letter or fax). The request must be made at least three business days in advance of the expected date of visit.

This applies to:

  1. requests for in-person interviews of NASA officials
  2. requests for a tour of NASA facilities

Requests that involve simple access to a media press site (or NASA facility) may have this rule waived if NASA Public Affairs staff members are available to accommodate last-minute requests as determined by the News Chief or designee.


While it remains NASA's intent to disseminate news and information to as wide an audience as possible, resources and NASA personnel required to do this are limited. In particular, regarding requests that may involve extensive use of NASA personnel and resources, NASA reserves the right to deny requests for accreditation if NASA is unable to fulfill the request due to insufficient resources or personnel.

Distribution of Materials Public Affairs materials will be distributed in formats that make the best use of public funds. For example, during an event of wide media interest, printed materials and photographs may be distributed in electronic formats only, as the cost of producing paper copies and color photographic prints would be prohibitive.


Each NASA center may publish special rules for accredited media that pertain specifically to their facilities. These rules will include information on media access to their facilities, security and safety requirements.

In general, the following rules apply to NASA facilities:

  1. Friends and relatives of accredited media will not be accommodated. ~:: \:!~
  2. NASA makes no travel arrangements for visiting media.
  3. Requests for working space, telephone services, or other logistical needs should be worked well in advance of planned events through the NASA center involved.
  4. No alcoholic beverages are allowed on government property.


  1. A board of journalists and NASA Public Affairs officers will be sanctioned by NASA and established to review appeals of rejected media applications for credentials. This team will be known as the Media Credentials Review Board.
  2. The Board may also review, as necessary, the NASA Accreditation Policy and make recommendations for change.
  3. The Media Credentials Review Board will be chaired by a NASA Public Affairs representative and consist of three NASA Public Affairs personnel and five currently accredited media representatives. Each member will tentatively serve a one-year term.
  4. NASA's Associate Administrator for Public Affairs or designee will select the Board's Chair and NASA representatives. The two currently accredited journalists who served on the Accreditation Policy Team will select the Board's media representatives.
  5. At the earliest opportunity, the Board will develop a charter which will address future Board membership.
  6. The Board will convene no less than twice a year or as deemed necessary by the chairman or other board members. Meetings may be held via teleconference.
  7. Decisions by the board on accreditation appeals are binding. A simple majority decision rules. Accreditation requests denied or revoked for security or safety reasons are not reviewable by the Board.

For more information:


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