Media prevented from reporting on Texas execution for first time for decades

May 19, 2021
For the first time in decades the Texas Department of Criminal Justice failed to let journalists cover an execution, even though two reporters had been cleared to do so and were waiting nearby to be called into the state penitentiary in Huntsville on May 19, 2021.A database maintained by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice confirmed that there had been media in attendance at each of the state’s previous 570 executions. Prison officials said “miscommunication” had kept media from witnessing …

Judge orders New Mexico public school district to pay news outlets for violating state public records act

April 19, 2021
On April 19, 2021, a Bernalillo County judge ruled that Albuquerque Public Schools violated New Mexico’s Inspection of Public Records Act when handling requests for documents made by two media outlets. The judge ordered the school district to pay the news organizations more than $400,000.The Albuquerque Journal and local NBC-affiliate KOB 4 had jointly sued the school district, alleging that it failed to meet deadlines in turning over public documents that the news outlets had requested in 2014. The documents …

Tennessee TV crew told to leave, threatened with arrest at a town hall meeting with Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene

January 27, 2021
Two Tennessee-based journalists from Chattanooga’s WRCBtv were told to leave and threatened with arrest after one of them tried to ask a question at a town hall meeting with U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Jan. 27, 2021.WRCB reporter Meredith Aldis and a photographer, who asked to not be identified, were among journalists invited to Greene’s town hall in Whitfield County, Georgia, about 30 miles southeast of Chattanooga. Upon arrival at the event, journalists were told they could not ask …

Journalist handcuffed, removed from North Carolina courtroom after requesting press access to a hearing

December 8, 2020
Tom Boney Jr., the publisher of the Graham-based weekly Alamance News, was removed from a courtroom in handcuffs and threatened with contempt of court charges in Graham, North Carolina, on Dec. 8, 2020.The incident with Boney came amid a dispute between a local judge and three media outlets seeking access to a trial. The Charlotte News & Observer reported that its journalists, and those from local alternative weekly Triad City Beat, were told earlier that week that members of the …

Judge bars Pennsylvania reporters from court proceeding

September 9, 2020
A district judge in Pennsylvania barred reporters from two local newspapers from observing a preliminary arraignment at the York County District Court on Sept. 9, 2020.Dylan Segelbaum, a reporter for the daily newspaper the York Daily Record/Sunday News, told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that he and Logan Hullinger, a reporter for the morning newspaper York Dispatch, were prevented from entering the courtroom to observe the arraignment of Mike Cleveland. Cleveland is accused of embezzling almost $23,000 while serving as …

New York Times barred from press briefing call on warrantless surveillance ruling

September 4, 2020
The New York Times said it was barred from attending a press briefing call organized by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Sept. 4, 2020, in apparent retaliation for an article published by the New York Times Magazine.The Times reported that then-director John Ratcliffe organized an embargoed press briefing with his office’s chief privacy officer and officials from the FBI and NSA following a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ruling on the FBI’s warrantless surveillance programs. Such briefings …
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