The NewsGuild-CWA condemns White House for banning journalists

The NewsGuild-CWA, the union that supports reporters’ rights and quality journalism, has spoken out against the actions of the Trump administration, which prohibited some journalists from attending a briefing by the press secretary.

Journalists from The New York Times, BuzzFeed News, CNN, The Los Angeles Times and Politico were not allowed to enter the West Wing office of the press secretary, Sean M. Spicer, for the scheduled briefing Friday. Reporters from The Associated Press and Time magazine were going to be allowed to attend but they chose to protest by not doing so.

“The NewsGuild-CWA condemns actions taken by White House staff that prohibited the New York Times, CNN and Politico from attending today’s press briefing,” the statement reads. “Certainly this was a calculated effort and intended to send a message punishing news outlets that the administration does not like. One might expect this in a dictatorship but not in America where freedom of the press is a constitutional right. We call on all elected officials to state their dissatisfaction and for all citizens to directly contact the White House complaining about this affront to freedom.”

News Media Guild President Martha Waggoner is also international chair of NewsGuild-CWA and signed off on the statement.

The Associated Press said it “believes the public should have as much access to the president as possible.” Here’s AP’s story:

Aides to Spicer only allowed in reporters from a handpicked group of news organizations that, the White House said, had been previously confirmed.

Those organizations included Breitbart News, the One America News Network and The Washington Times, all with conservative leanings. Journalists from ABC, CBS, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Fox News also attended.

Bloomberg learned that some news outlets had been excluded only moments before the briefing began.