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 …

Knoxville News Sentinel says reporter barred from coronavirus Zoom press briefing in apparent retaliation

May 8, 2020
The Knoxville News Sentinel said its reporter was prevented from participating in a Knox County, Tennessee, health department press briefing about the county’s COVID-19 response on May 8, 2020, in apparent retaliation for his reporting.Reporter Vincent Gabrielle had been attending the daily Zoom press briefings without incident, the Sentinel reported, recently pressing health officials to release more of the data informing the county’s reopening decisions following the lockdown to curb the spread of the pandemic.The day before the briefing, the …

Judge rules in favor of Minnesota journalist barred from COVID-19 briefing calls

April 28, 2020
Scott Johnson, co-founder of the digital-only outlet Power Line, filed a lawsuit against the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health and the director of the department’s communications office after he said he’d been barred from accessing the department’s daily teleconference on April 28, 2020.According to the suit, the MDH had started hosting daily press briefings in late February to field a rise in information requests concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and the department’s response. On April 9, Johnson, who did …
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