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SPJ applauds judge’s decision to reinstate Acosta’s press pass


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11/16/2018


CONTACT:
Alison Bethel McKenzie, SPJ Executive Director, 317-920-4780, abmckenzie@spj.org
Jennifer Royer, SPJ Director of Communications and Marketing, 317-361-4134, jroyer@spj.org


INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists applauds U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly in his decision today to temporarily reinstate CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta’s press pass as a step to a pending lawsuit. We object to the initial act of the White House revoking Acosta’s access and the fact that it had to be settled by a U.S. District Judge.

As we stated last week, it is a journalist’s job to be diligent and persistent in obtaining answers from public officials. It is never acceptable for politicians to ban journalists from press conferences or other events to control who covers them. It is a disservice to democracy and the American people.

This isn’t the first time this administration has taken credentials away from journalists or banned them from covering events. It sends the message to state and local elected officials that it is OK to ban certain journalists or news outlets based on coverage. The judge settled this temporarily on Fifth Amendment grounds, saying the White House did not provide Acosta with the due process required to legally revoke his press pass. We also argue that politicians denying access to reporters to control who covers them is a violation of the First Amendment and is detrimental to our society and those around the world.

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund, or give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.

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