Atlanta Press Club files protest after governor bars reporter from bill-signing

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Fox 5 News investigative unit reported last Thursday that Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal's campaign paid $90,000 to a fundraising company linked to his daughter-in-law, but there was no mention of Denise Deal's name in records available to the public. The governor responded by barring Fox 5's reporter from last Friday's immigration bill signing. The Atlanta Press Club sent this protest to the governor:

To The Honorable Nathan Deal:

We want to express our concern that your office used the Georgia State Troopers and police to keep a member of the media out of a news conference on Friday, May 13th.

We consider this action a disregard of the constitutional right of freedom of the press. Selective exclusion from a public press event, and enforcing that exclusion using taxpayer-funded state law enforcement, sets a dangerous precedent. It is unacceptable in a free and open society. And it is contrary to the rights granted by the First Amendment and the values endorsed by the Georgia Open Records Act.

We would like your assurance that this was an unfortunate, unprofessional and isolated incident and that journalists don’t have to fear access restriction by state troopers or police under your administration.

Sincerely,

The Atlanta Press Club

  • Jim Romenesko

    From 1999 to 2011, Jim Romenesko maintained the Romenesko page for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based non-profit school for journalists. Poynter hired him in August of 1999, after seeing his MediaGossip.com, a hobby site he started in May of 1999.

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