Pool Eligibility and Access

1. By law, the VPA is the governing body for still photographers. Only Virginia newspapers and news services are eligible for pool participation. In all cases, local photographers have priority over out-of-town media for pool access. In cases with statewide interest, photographers who regularly cover Virginia are considered "local." 

2. Any newspaper or news service wishing to cover a courtroom proceeding will provide the required advance notice to the court and the coordinator (in writing if required by the court, using a form approved by the Virginia Supreme Court or a similar form approved by a local court). Some jurisdictions have agreed to 24-hour notice while others require 10 days. The best procedure is, the earlier the better. 

3. In the event more than one newspaper wishes to participate in the photographic pool coverage of a courtroom proceeding, the court shall refer the second and all subsequent requests to the coordinator. The coordinator will facilitate pool coverage and will be the sole contact with the judge. 

4. Only photographers who are assigned by a newspaper or news service will be allowed access to the courtroom. Photographers must demonstrate to all other members of the pool the ability to produce professional quality photographs delivered on a timely basis. 

5. Any photographer or newspaper which fails to comply fully with the terms and conditions of this VPA policy, or violates the terms of the law, or does not conform with the standards, rulings and procedures of the judge in the particular courtroom, shall be refused admission to the photographic pool for the duration of the particular trial.