When the NYPD arrested 26 journalists during an Occupy Wall Street protest back in November, Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loesser noted that "only five of the 26 arrested reporters actually have valid NYPD-issued press credentials." Gothamist and The New York Observer, partly to prove a point, promptly dispatched reporters to obtain these NYPD-issued press passes, documenting the tedious, Kafkaesque task of "demonstrat[ing] coverage as an uncredentialed reporter in order to get credentialed."
Additionally, coalitions of New York's biggest media organizations have twice since November sent letters to city officials, complaining of NYPD mistreatment of journalists, requesting better media training for officers and more follow-through from police on official complaints.
And yet, when pressed Thursday morning following his appearance before the City Council Public Safety Committee (to discuss the NYPD's other rocky relationships with Muslims and other minorities), Police Commissioner Ray Kelly insisted his department has a good relationship with the media. His response, from The Observer:
“I think we’re doing well. I think we have a good relationship with the press...I think the nature of what we do, sometimes out in the street, there’s going to be some pushing and shoving. That’s just the world in which you live and the police live...I’ve met with the Deadline Club, I met with a delegation of people from the Press Club. You have a lot of contact, you being the press collectively, you have a lot of contact with the police, literally on a daily basis..."
Previously, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said that 1,600 recent graduates of the Police Academy had been given training on media guidelines and that additional recruits would also be trained.
And meanwhile, the NYPD continues to enjoy decent approval ratings, with 63 percent of New Yorkers saying they approve of how cops are doing their job.