CONCORD, N.H. — The state of New Hampshire is getting out of the business of issuing identification cards to members of the news media.
The man who handled the chore — Jim Van Dongen of the state Department of Safety — says the decision is based on the proliferation of online and specialty news outlets and technology that allows almost anyone to call himself a journalist. Van Dongen says that put him and his bosses in the uncomfortable position of issuing cards to all comers or having to decide who is a legitimate journalist.
News organizations now will have to issue their own identification cards for events that require them.
Reporters in the state are rarely asked for their press cards. When they are — to cover a presidential debate, for example — the sponsors usually issue their own credentials in advance.
Van Dongen says the state has issued press cards for at least a couple of decades. He says he gets 150 to 200 applications a year.