David Carlson, President, (352) 846-0171, Carlson@spj.org
Beth King, Communications Manager, (317) 927-8000, ext. 211, firstname.lastname@example.org
INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists, the nation’s most broad-based journalism advocacy organization, today sent a letter to Kansas City Royals owner David Glass and Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig, urging a reinstatement of media credentials to two reporters who asked hard-hitting questions at a recent news conference.
On June 9, Bob Fescoe of WHB and Rhonda Moss of KCSP, who work at competing sports-talk radio stations, had their credentials revoked one day after attending a press conference in which the Royals introduced its new general manager. Team officials offered no specifics for pulling the credentials. However, a team representative confirmed that the credentials have been revoked for the “foreseeable future.”
The Society is calling upon Kansas City Royals’ management to promote and support the free flow of information by reinstating the reporters’ credentials. Additionally, SPJ is encouraging other local media to send back their credentials in protest.
“The Royals’ decision to revoke the credentials of two journalists calls into question the organization’s commitment to transparency, open access and general fairness,” said David Carlson, president of SPJ. “It smacks of an attempt to control the message and to slap the hands of those who do not play along to your specifications.
“A baseball club depends on public support for its survival, and the public depends on the news media to keep it informed. Reporters are the public’s surrogate; they attend games and press conferences to serve the public interest. Part of that interest is to ask the tough questions.”
Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press.