NMC joins call for President Trump to improve press relations

25 January 2017
Public

The News Media Coalition has joined 60 other news media and journalists organisations in calling for new US President Donald Trump to take steps to improve deteriorating press relations.

In a letter co-signed by the NMC and Associated Press, an NMC member, the organisations urge Trump to affirm his commitment to transparency, issue an executive order prohibiting the restrictive public information policies that have become the status quo, and engage in public discussion about the free flow of information from the White House and all federal agencies.

The letter underlines press relations is a matter of constitutional importance, quoting Thomas Jefferson, one of the Founding Fathers and main author of the Declaration of Independence, who said in a 28 January 1786 letter: “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”

Discussions with the White House about the deteriorating state of government relations with the press began under the previous administration. Journalism and transparency organisations first expressed concerns in 2015 about a number of practices that threatened to undermine a free press, including officials blocking reporters’ requests to talk to staff and excessive delays in answering interview requests that stretched past reporters’ deadlines, amongst others.

The signatory organisations point out little action was taken to address these issues under President Barack Obama and fear the relationship between the press and the US government could decline further still, with President Trump and members of his team issuing antagonistic remarks towards journalists in recent weeks.

The signatory organisations:

Alaska Press Club

American Copy Editors Society

American Society of Business Publication Editors

American Society of Media Photographers

American Society of News Editors

Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association

Asian American Journalists Association

Associated Press Media Editors

Associated Press Photo Managers

Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication

Association of Alternative News Media

Association of Health Care Journalists

Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication

Broadcast Education Association

Center for Scholastic Journalism

College Media Association

Colorado Press Women

Defending Rights & Dissent

Education Writers Association

Florida Press Association

Hoosier State Press Association

Investigative Reporters and Editors

iSolon

Journalism and Women Symposium

Journalism Education Association

Local Independent Online News Producers

Local Media Association

Michigan Press Association

Media of Nebraska Inc.

National Association of Black Journalists

National Association of Hispanic Journalists

National Association of Science Writers

National Newspaper Association

National Press Photographers Association

National Scholastic Press Association/Associated Collegiate Press

National Writers Union

Native American Journalists Association

Nebraska Press Association

Nevada Press Association

New Jersey Press Association

News Media Alliance

News Media Coalition

News Media Guild Local 31222

NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists

North American Agricultural Journalists

Online News Association

Poynter

Radio Television Digital News Association

Religion News Association

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Reporters Without Borders

Society of Environmental Journalists

Society of Professional Journalists

South Carolina Press Association

South Dakota Newspaper Association

Student Press Law Center

The NewsGuild-CWA

The NewsGuild of New York

Tully Center for Free Speech

United Media Guild – TNG-CWA

UNITY Journalists for Diversity

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