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 …

Reporters excluded from Maine CDC media briefings after being labeled ‘advocacy journalists’

August 25, 2020
Reporters Katherine Revello of The Maine Wire and Evan Popp of the Beacon were barred from Maine’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly livestreams after the agency changed its media policy on Aug. 25, 2021, to exclude those it deemed to be “advocacy journalists.”The agency reversed the policy on Oct. 6. Earlier that day, the Maine Policy Institute, a policy and lobbying organization and parent company to The Maine Wire, had publicized the initial policy change in a series …

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 …