Media Interview Regulations

Media Interview Regulations

The regulations for interviewing a federal prisoner are contained in Program Statement PS1480.05. What follows are excerpts of this policy. They pertain to anyone interested in interviewing Mr. Zoukis in person. Do note that Mr. Zoukis can also be interviewed via phone, email, or mail.

ELIGIBILITY: Those desiring to interview Mr. Zoukis in person must be a “representative of the news media.” This means a person “whose principal employment is to gather or report news for:

“a. A newspaper, which qualifies as a general circulation newspaper in the community in which it is published. A newspaper is one of ‘general circulation’ if it circulates among the general public and if it publishes news of a general character of general interest to the public such as news of political, religious, commercial, or social affairs. A key test to determine whether a newspaper qualifies as a ‘general circulation’ newspaper is to determine whether the paper qualifies for the purpose of publishing legal notices in the community in which it is located or the area to which it distributes;

“b. A news magazine which has a national circulation and is sold by newsstands and by mail subscription to the general public;

“c. A national or international news service; or

“d. A radio or television news program, whose primary purpose is to report the news. These programs are broadcast by stations holding a Federal Communications Commission license.”

EXCEPTIONS TO ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENT: Interviews by those that do not meet the above-stated requirements “may be permitted only by special arrangement and with approval of the Warden. The Warden may approve institution visits and interviews requested by writers for the purpose of writing a book. Such approval is contingent upon the writer:

“(1) Submitting verification of his or her previously published book(s); or

“(2) Submitting a letter from a recognized publishing company that indicates the publisher’s contractual support of the book.”

It should further be noted that personal visits meet separate standards. Persons who wish to visit Mr. Zoukis for purposes other than an interview need to contact Mr. Zoukis at [email protected] to discuss the specifics.

GENERAL PROCEDURES: Representatives of the media are required to make advanced appointments for visits. They are to do so by contacting FCI-Petersburg and requesting the “News Interview Authorization form” (BP-S233.014). The Warden will “normally approve or disapprove an interview request within 24 to 48 hours of the request. It should be noted that “Interviews are normally held in the institution visiting room during normal weekday business hours.” It should also be noted that “Interviews are not subject to auditory supervision.”

EQUIPMENT: It should be noted that interviewers are allowed to bring equipment with them but that the Warden can “Limit the amount of audio, video, and film equipment or number of media personnel entering the institution.”

*The actual policy is much more in-depth and should be consulted for clarification.*