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Paper sues governor, claiming refusal to talk is prior restraint

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by TigerVols, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    Interesting case. Does a Governor have the right to ignore the press?

  2. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Has the Governor created an externality for the Reporter?
  3. I don't know who the lawyer is for the Santa Fe Reporter, but the owner(s) are getting ripped off.
  4. Morris816

    Morris816 Member

    I've met the governor of NM and she seems like a pretty decent individual. That being said, I think she and her staff are being petty if they're simply refusing to talk to the Reporter because it's a left-leaning publication (and I'd feel the same if somebody refused to talk to a paper simply because it was right-leaning). Exception: If the Reporter got something related to the governor wrong and refused to acknowledge the mistake.

    Regardless, a government official simply not talking to you isn't necessarily about freedom of the press. There are going to be times in which a reporter pisses off a public official or public figure for whatever the reason and said public individual doesn't want to talk the reporter for a while. Sometimes the reasons are legit, sometimes the reasons are petty, but either way, it's not about denying access to information.

    If the Reporter requests specific information related to the government that is clearly a matter of public record and is refused it, then yeah, they have a case. But in this case, it seems more like the Reporter just needs to say the governor didn't respond to phone calls or e-mails and let readers draw their own conclusions.
  5. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    I've been in a situation like this, and it's bullshit from the Governor's office. The top official in the state needs to be above this type of thing.

    Our governor didn't think our shop was nice to her. For a long time she would only do interviews with the reporter she thought was cute, and when he left she decided to quit talking to us. It reached the point where she made a major decision on high-profile legislation, but instead of holding a news conference she did sit-down interviews with the four other TV stations in town, then told us she didn't have time for a fifth and refused to send out a release until the other four stations had reported the news.

    Our response was to plant a reporter and photographer outside the door to her office from 9am to 6pm every damn day. We would ambush her staffers as they came and went, demanding to know when the governor would answer a question. It was our lead story for a week -- shots of our reporter sitting in her waiting area, making her staff looked like assholes. When the governor had a public event we were in her face from the moment she got out of her car. Eventually her chief of staff apologized, waved the white flag, and we are back to getting the same access as everyone else.
  6. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    Reporters are not entitled to answers from elected officials. The voting public is, however.

    If a governor wants to freeze out a paper, he/she has that right. It's a stupid thing to do from a PR standpoint, but it's not illegal.

    As long as she's still speaking to the press in general I don't see how this paper has a case.
  7. UPChip

    UPChip Well-Known Member

    I'm just surprised the governor in question wasn't that of Maine.
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