State Department FAQ for Journalists

Editor: This is a NATO Summit press release sent via email from the US Department of State to credentialed journalists. It is archived here because it is relevant to our audience. is not a part of the State Department; questions about the content of this release should be sent to .


Frequently Asked Media Questions

NATO 2012 Summit

Chicago, Illinois




Important Points of Contact

NATO Media Coordinator:

Host Nation Media Coordinator:


International Media Center (IMC)


The IMC is located in Halls B1 and B2 (Level 3) of the North Building at McCormick Place. Accredited members of the media and summit delegates have access to the IMC. Media are permitted only within the IMC, unless escorted in a designated pool movement.


Friday, May 18: 08:00 to 22:30

Saturday, May 19 at 04:00 to Tuesday, May 22 at 09:00 (on a 24-hour basis)

*Note: Shuttle service concludes on Monday, May 21 at 22:00; after that time, taxis will be available outside of Gate 4 and the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place


Equipment Load-in:

More information regarding equipment load-in will be advised in a separate media release.

What infrastructure will be provided in the IMC?

Tables, chairs, power, and internet will be provided in the general file area within the IMC. Space in the general file area is first-come, first-served. The initial deadline for ordering equipment has passed, but may still be possible. IMC Rate Card information is available at and

Briefing Rooms:

Briefing Rooms may only be booked by delegations. A schedule of open-press briefings will be readily available at the Information Desk and displayed on CCTV.

Meals for Media:

Both food for purchase and complimentary catering provided by the Chicago NATO Host Committee will be available in the IMC. McDonalds, Connie’s Pizza, and Starbucks Coffee take cash and all major credit cards. All hours below are subject to change and an updated schedule of hours will be available at the IMC Information Desk.


Friday, May 18:

Food for purchase (located on Level 2, immediately below the Press File area):

McDonalds: 07:00-19:00

Connie’s Pizza: 11:00-19:00

Starbucks Coffee: 07:00-15:00


Saturday, May 19:

Food for purchase:

McDonalds: 07:00-20:00

Connie’s Pizza: 10:00-20:00

Starbucks Coffee: 07:00-16:00

Complimentary catering provided by the Chicago NATO Host Committee:

Lunch: 11:00-14:00

Dinner: 17:00-20:00

                24-hour Grab and Go food available starting after lunch on Saturday.


Sunday, May 20:

Food for purchase:

McDonalds: 07:00-20:00

Connie’s Pizza: 10:00-20:00

Starbuck’s Coffee: 07:00-15:00

Complimentary catering provided by the Chicago NATO Host Committee:

Breakfast: 06:30-09:30

Lunch: 11:00-14:00

Dinner: 17:00-20:00

24-hour Grab and Go


Monday, May 21:

Food for purchase:

McDonalds: 07:00-18:00

Connie’s Pizza: 10:00-18:00

Starbucks Coffee: 07:00-15:00

Complimentary catering provided by the Chicago NATO Host Committee:

Breakfast: 06:30-09:30

Lunch: 11:00-14:00

24-hour Grab and Go ends at 17:00 on Monday


Food will be provided at the NATO Summit Press Corps Party hosted by the Chicago NATO Host Committee at Lucky Strike (322 East Illinois Street) from 19:00-22:00 on Monday, May 21.

Media Credentials 

How do I know if I have successfully completed the application?

The media credential registration deadline has passed. All applicants who submitted applications before the deadline have received email confirmation of the status of their credential. If you applied for a media credential and have not received a confirmation email, please contact to confirm your application’s status.

Credential Distribution

Media Credentials will be distributed at the Hyatt Regency Chicago (151 East Wacker Drive) in Columbus Hall during the following times:


Thursday, May 17: 15:00-20:00

Friday, May 18: 08:00-20:00

Saturday, May 19: 08:00-20:00

Sunday, May 20: 06:00-18:00

Monday, May 21: 06:00-15:00


Columbus Hall is located in the East Tower on the Gold Level. If you are picking up a group of media credentials, please email in advance to schedule an appointment and expedite delivery.

Economy Press Officers and Official Photographers Traveling with Delegations

Most official photographers, videographers, and press officers are considered official members of the delegation and have been registered via NATO’s Council Secretariat. Delegation credentials will be distributed via Host Nation Liaison Officers. Please note that official photographers will require pool cards to cover certain events.


Media Transportation

Will shuttle transportation be provided to the IMC at McCormick Place?

Shuttle transportation will be provided for accredited members of the media between Columbus Hall in the Hyatt Regency Chicago (151 East Wacker Drive) and the IMC. Columbus Hall is located in the East Tower on the Gold Level. Media are required to utilize this shuttle in order to access the IMC. Media who attempt to travel to McCormick Place unilaterally will be directed to the media shuttles at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

Media shuttle hours of operation are:

Friday, May 18: 08:00-22:30

Saturday, May 19 at 03:45 to Monday, May 21 at 22:00 (on a 24-hour basis)

Shuttles will run continuously during the hours noted above.

Leader Arrivals and Departures at O’Hare International Airport

Are there specific registration requirements for media who wish to cover Leader Arrivals?

Media who intend to cover private aircraft Leader Arrivals at O’Hare International Airport will be required to pre-register. Members of the media must email their full name, media organization, and the arrival which they intend to cover no less than 48 hours in advance. Media will require a valid press credential from their media organization in order to access the arrival area, but will not require a NATO Summit media credential. Unregistered media will be denied access to the arrival area.

Please note that Leader Departures, and Commercial Arrivals and Departures, will be closed to press.

Will transportation be provided to O’Hare International Airport for media covering Leader Arrivals?

Members of the media are responsible for providing their own transportation to a designated parking area at O’Hare International Airport. Additional information on Leader Arrivals and directions to the designated parking lot will be advised closer to the summit.

Is there a limit to media covering arrivals?

There is no limit to the number of media who may cover arrivals. Space is first-come, first-served.

When will a schedule of Leader Arrivals be released?

A media advisory will be released the week preceding the summit to inform media of call times for Leader Arrivals.

Will Satellite Trucks be accommodated to cover Leader Arrivals?

Provisions to accommodate a limited number of satellite trucks in the aircraft reception area have been made. Networks wishing to position trucks in the area must pre-clear for a position, and ensure that the vehicles, driver, and any support staff are pre-registered via the instructions noted above. Networks interested in positioning a satellite truck to cover Leader Arrivals should submit a request to no later than May 16, 2012.

Approved vehicles will need to report to the staging area at a specified time for security screening and positioning of the truck. It is anticipated that there will be a single opportunity early each morning for the positioning of satellite trucks in the aircraft reception area. Additional information will be provided in a media advisory the week preceding the summit.

Media Coverage Opportunities

What events will allow press coverage?

Coverage of official events, with the exception of press briefings, will be pooled. Pool cards will be distributed by the NATO Media Coordinator to each delegation, and it is the delegation’s responsibility to distribute pool cards to media from their country. Delegation press officer contact information will be available at the Information Desk within the International Media Center.

The Secretary General’s press briefing and President Obama’s press briefing will be open to all accredited media on a first-come, first-served basis. A schedule of open-press briefings by other delegations will be available in the IMC.

Additional information regarding coverage of official events will be released by NATO closer to the summit.


Where and when will media with pool cards meet prior to an event with press coverage?

A schedule of call times for media covering pooled events will be available at the IMC Information Desk. All media with pool cards should report at the designated time to the pool meeting point on Level 2, one level down from the Press File area.


Will there be coverage of the NATO Young Atlanticist Summit?

To facilitate coverage of open-press events at the Young Atlanticist Summit, Host Nation Public Affairs staff will escort media to the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place at designated times on May 20 and 21. Additional information regarding coverage opportunities at the Young Atlanticist Summit will be available at the IMC Information Desk.


Will delegation press officers need to escort press to media events?

No. NATO and Host Nation Public Affairs staff will escort all press to pooled events. Only media who are visibly displaying their credential and pool card will be escorted. Delegation Press Officers will not be required.


Host TV

What events will Host TV cover?

Host TV will cover all official NATO events and private-aircraft leader arrivals. Live video and audio feeds will be available in the IMC, without added graphics or chyrons. Host TV format is NTSC HD-SDI 1080i with 4 channels of embedded audio, using BNC cables and connectors (1.Original, 2.English, 3. French , 4. Ad Hoc). There is no down conversion from the 1080i HD signal distribution by Host TV. “Host Out” feed distribution points will be located in the following areas within the IMC: the Press File, Host TV Master Control, the Fee for Service Area, and the Satellite Truck Parking area. Host TV feeds are provided free of charge.

What is Host Out?

“Host Out” is a clean, switched camera feed of the primary NATO event at that time. The number of cameras being switched will vary by location and event.

Are there any other feeds available?

Yes. Designated open press conferences in briefing rooms B1, B2, B3, B4, & B5, located in the IMC, have a single head-on camera in each room. Distribution of those feeds is located only at Host TV Master Control. Acquisition of this feed will be possible only once the Host TV producer has received agreement from the Delegation briefing to make the feed available.

Additionally, NATO will provide live satellite feeds of official events without encryption.

Is frequency coordination provided?

Yes. All incoming wireless frequencies must be registered by the Host Nation frequency coordinator via

Additional information regarding Host TV feeds and a schedule of coverage will be available at the IMC Information Desk and also at

Will Host TV carry G8 Summit events live?

Yes. A schedule of Host TV-covered G8 events will be advised in a separate media release.

Customs and Immigration

Media Equipment – For Official Photographers/Videographers and Press Officers

Official photographers and press officers arriving as part of an official delegation will be granted Port Courtesies, allowing equipment to enter the U.S. without being assessed duty. Please contact your Embassy in Washington, D.C. to coordinate Port Courtesies for the NATO Summit. A list of all equipment being brought into the U.S. for the NATO Summit is required. If delegation press officers are arriving in advance of their leader, this must be noted.

Any official photographer who has an “A” or “G” visa will not require a TIB or Carnet, regardless of whether they are traveling with the leader or independently. If an official photographer or member of the traveling press party is traveling on an “I” visa, and is traveling on the same plane as the leader, they must request a US-VISIT exemption to avoid the TIB/Carnet requirement. Requests should be coordinated through the Washington, D.C. Embassy. The exemption is specific to the individual visa holder and is only valid for (1) entry to the U.S. on a specified date. Journalists, including official photographers, traveling on “I” visas who are not traveling on the same plane as the leader should follow the instructions noted below for other media.

Media Equipment – For Media Traveling on “I” Visas

All media covering the NATO Summit who are not U.S. citizens, or do not currently hold a work permit, are required to have an “I” visa. The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) does not cover individuals coming to the U.S. to work, even for a short period of time. Visit for more information.

Press bringing in equipment (from outside the U.S.) to Chicago for the NATO Summit should obtain a Temporary Importation Bond (TIB) or ATA Carnet. A TIB allows members of the media to transport equipment (tools of the trade) without incurring duty. For those unfamiliar with the process, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recommends hiring a broker to facilitate the process. A list of brokers may be found on the DHS website. Additional information may be found at:

Media may alternatively obtain an ATA Carnet, an international customs document that allows for the temporary importation of professional equipment, and is accepted for goods traveling between the U.S. and other designated countries.

The International Chamber of Commerce maintains a list of Carnet-issuing organizations in each participating country. For a list of participating countries and more information on how to obtain an ATA Carnet, please visit:

Additional information regarding ATA Carnets may be found at:



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