Blog: Special Election Section

November 25, 2019

This specialized year-long election tracking project aims to collect press freedom aggressions from federal candidates and their teams in one searchable place.

If a reporter is denied access or removed from a federal campaign event, we’ll review on a case-by-case basis to determine if that particular incident implicates First Amendment concerns. We’ll take into account if the candidate had Secret Service protection, if the campaign is paid for by public funds, who was involved in the denial/removal decision, and any other relevant factors at our disposal.

We launched this blog in the belief that how candidates treat the press while campaigning may give us insight into how they would act as elected officials. From Nov. 3, 2019, until Election Day 2020, we'll update this blog with relevant incidents from across the U.S., with the most recent news at top.

Dec. 3, 2019 | Trump reelection campaign and Bloomberg News

Trump reelection campaign says it will not credential Bloomberg News journalists

President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign announced on Dec. 2 that it would no longer issue press credentials to Bloomberg News journalists.

After Bloomberg founder and majority owner Michael Bloomberg announced his election bid on Nov. 24, the outlet sent out a memo obtained by CNBC stating that it would no longer critically cover Democratic candidates but would continue to cover the president “as the government of the day.”

In a statement published on the campaign’s Twitter account, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale announced that they will no longer credential Bloomberg journalists for Trump campaign events, alleging that the outlet’s decision revealed its bias.

Trump’s campaign said it would decide “on a case-by-case basis” whether to respond to press inquiries from individual Bloomberg reporters.

The same day, Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait refuted the allegations of bias in a statement.

“We have covered Donald Trump fairly and in an unbiased way since he became a candidate in 2015 and will continue to do so despite the restrictions imposed by the Trump campaign,” Micklethwait said.


Nov. 4, 2019 | Lexington, Kentucky | Campaign rally for President Donald Trump

Kentucky student journalists denied media credentials to president's rally

Student journalists from the Kentucky Kernel and the Transy Rambler were denied media access to President Donald Trump’s Lexington rally on Nov. 4, 2019.

An email sent to the Kentucky Kernel, the newspaper at the University of Kentucky, by Trump’s reelection campaign gave no reason for the denial other than “an overwhelming press credential request.”

The email received by the Transy Rambler, the newspaper at Transylvania University, did not state a reason.

"It's a shame that the Trump campaign does not take the Kentucky Kernel seriously,” UK student media adviser Ryan Craig told the Kernel, “since we literally found this out while coming back from winning a national Pacemaker award for journalistic excellence."