Media Access Guidelines

George Allen Sr., Courts Building - 600 Commerce Street, Dallas, TX 75202
Emergency Assistance:  214-653-7000

The following guidelines pertain to media access to Dallas County Government owned or controlled property. These guidelines pertain to any individual or group conducting interviews, making audio or video recordings, or photographing images for dissemination to the public via commercial or non-commercial news and information outlets, including the Internet.

General Guidelines

  • Media vehicles must be parked legally.
  • Equipment must not damage any Dallas County Government property.
  • Equipment, vehicles, and personnel must not restrict traffic or access to buildings and fire lanes.

Additional restrictions on the use of television cameras, still cameras, flashes and other special lighting and audio equipment may be imposed by security personnel on a case-by-case basis to minimize disruption or protect safety or security. If security is an issue, these items may be subject to inspection.

Non-Restricted and Restricted Areas

The media is generally permitted to film or otherwise have access to those areas that are open to the public, subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions. This includes access during regular operating hours to any building or portion of a building that is open to the public. This does not include building areas considered security sensitive, secure or restricted. Judges may, at their discretion, remove or prohibit cameras in their court rooms.

Media wishing to enter areas where security checkpoints are present need to clear through the checkpoints in the same manner as the general public.

All outdoor sidewalks, green spaces, open or unrestricted parking lots and ramps are open to the media.

Dallas County Government events, such as Commissioners Court and forums, to which admission is open to the public, are open to the media.

Restrictions may be placed on designated media areas, cameras, lights, flashes, and other equipment to minimize disruption. Any persons filming that become disruptive to county business or whose actions become a nuisance will be removed from the building. Advance notice or credentials may be required.

Media is only allowed in the following locations with express or written permission from an administrative authority:

  • Individual County office spaces. If a reporter or photojournalist wishes to enter a private office, he or she must get permission from the department head of the person who works in that office.
  • County employee offices are not public. Permission to enter must be granted by the head of the department for that office.
  • Any secured area or areas restricted by security checkpoints, proximity badge access points, or any entryway where signs restricting media access are posted.
  • Inside private functions not open to the public.
  • Any marked construction area, crime scene, or hazardous or unsafe location.