Media Guidelines

NDIA welcomes all credentialed media to cover events that are open to press. 

  • Eligible media are those journalists who work for a full-fledged news organization.
  • Credentials include press passes, business cards, letters of verification, a copy of or link to published work, or a masthead with the media member’s name.
  • Freelance media are asked to provide a letter or email from the outlet they are representing or, if working independently, a statement of editorial work.
  • It is recommended that media members pre-register for all NDIA meetings, conferences, and events. Registration is also available on-site if pre-registration is not possible.

NDIA may refuse to issue media credentials to anyone who does not meet these requirements. 

People who MAY NOT register as media include those in advertising, marketing, business development, or business operations; publishers, analysts, and public relations personnel are also ineligible to register.

Access and rules of engagement

  • Check in at the media registration counter to pick up badges. 
  • Media badges must always be worn during the event. 
  • Media members should identify themselves as press when engaging with all attendees
  • Except where noted, scheduled sessions are on the record and open to media. However, organizers can elect to close a previously open portion of a program at their discretion and will communicate these changes appropriately to media and attendees. Usually, sessions are closed because they are classified and only for those with a security clearance.

  • NDIA typically uses the audience interaction tool during program sessions. This method is how audience members, including press, will ask questions. 
  • Please visit the website or download the app to your mobile device to use this tool.
  • Please identify yourself as media when asking a question using
  • NDIA will inform media if the tool will not be in use and what the alternative will be. 

Press work setup

  • At larger conferences, meetings, and events, NDIA will have a pressroom for interviews and workstations. If there is no such setup, media may work wherever they can.
  • If NDIA provides Wi-Fi at an event, network information will be provided upon arrival. It is always wise to have Wi-Fi alternatives in case access becomes unreliable. 
  • For presentations or slides not available on-site, contact the NDIA communications director after the event has concluded and they will be provided upon approval for release. 
  • NDIA points of contact can assist with requests for interviews with the association’s officials or with an event’s speakers. NDIA points of contact will also direct media to the appropriate public affairs official for interviews with military or government representatives. 

Photography, videography, and audio guidelines

  • Photography and video recording are allowed at most NDIA meetings, conferences, and events. 
  • Exhibiting organizations or companies must grant permission to any media that will photograph or record them in audio or video. Please take care to capture only the organization or company that gave permission. Neighboring companies or organizations' exhibits cannot be included without their permission.
  • VERY IMPORTANT – All organizations and individuals are prohibited from using photos, video, or audio to either inadvertently or purposely demonstrate government or industry endorsement of any kind for anything. A DoD member's speech or presence on a panel at an event neither constitutes nor implies endorsement of the given event. Such speech or presence may occur because DoD looks to convey a message to the audience or participate in the discussion without actual endorsement of the event.
  • Audio recording is approved for media’s personal and individual use or for radio journalists. 
  • For personnel of the military forces of partner nations: Media must request permission to take a video or photo before capturing their images. 
  • To avoid a violation of the military personnel photo and video restrictions, it is best to ask before capturing anyone’s image. 

VERY IMPORTANT – Due to the nature of special operations and military in highly sensitive operations, we respectfully ask that some military personnel not be captured on video or in photos. 

  • For U.S. military personnel in the ranks of (O-4) major and (E-8) master sergeant and below: Video or photos should be taken from the side to avoid both eyes and bridge of the nose. Cutlines cannot use full names. 
  • For U.S. military personnel in the ranks of (O-5) lieutenant colonel and (E-9) sergeant major and above: No photo or video restrictions for these special operations personnel.

Remember that press access is a privilege and that NDIA can revoke at any time. Reasons may include but are not limited to: 

  • Photographing or videoing exhibits other than those for which permission has been granted.
  • Photographing or videoing conference sessions other than those for which permission has been granted.
  • Photographing or videoing an attendee over his or her objection.
  • Attending conference sessions or functions where media are prohibited.
  • Soliciting advertisements, exhibit space, sponsorships, etc. in the conference and exhibition-controlled areas.