SEJ Members: Most of you have been aware of our efforts to lodge your complaints about agency press office intererence with news media access to scientists and officials. With over 50 other journalism groups, SEJ and its WatchDog Project have complained about it to the White House of President Obama, who promised his would be the "most transparent" administration ever. Now journalism groups have landed a December 15 meeting with Press Secretary Josh Earnest to discuss these issues. Here is a communication from the coalition's leaders.
November 12, 2015
Fellow journalism/government transparency advocates,
We have some good news to share: White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest has agreed to take a meeting to discuss press access with a small group of SPJ and SEJ representatives the afternoon of Tuesday, Dec. 15.
An agenda and goals are currently being developed for this meeting. We view the meeting as one more step in a long battle. Policy change and a more open government are what we hope to achieve by sharing our concerns with Mr. Earnest and others in the White House.
This, of course, would not be possible if it weren’t for your unwavering support and advocacy efforts. You can count on us to make the most of this opportunity, representing all of the journalism organizations signed on to the letters of July 2014 and August 2015. This is proof that when we all work together and are persistent, people do listen and (hopefully) changes can be made for the better.
Please feel free to share this information with your members as you see fit. We will keep you informed of any developments before the meeting, and will report back to you after the meeting. Please let us know if you have any questions. Thank you again for your partnership.
Paul Fletcher, SPJ National President
Dave Cuillier, SPJ Past President
Kathryn Foxhall, SPJ Ethics Committee member
Beth Parke, SEJ Executive Director