More than 60 journalism organizations, including the Society of Professional Journalists, have sent a letter to President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, asking for a meeting to discuss press freedoms and the importance of First Amendment rights remaining to be protected.
In the letter, mailed Wednesday, the coalition of journalists explain concerns that were shared with President Obama’s Press Secretary John Earnest back in 2015 and how little was done to address those concerns.
Those concerns include federal officials blocking reporter requests to talk to specific people within federal agencies and officials conveying information “on background” as opposed to releasing information on-the-record or in a more transparent manner, the coalition writes in the letter.
The letter quotes Thomas Jefferson, stating “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”
“Primarily what we are concerned about is the public’s access to information that is guaranteed to them and that they’re allowed to have, but also access to the President himself once he is sworn in and government employees,” said Lynn Walsh, the National President for the Society of Professional Journalists.
Walsh is also the Executive Producer for NBC 7 Investigates here in San Diego.
The letter urges President-elect Trump to affirm a commitment to transparency with a more free flow of information from the White House and federal government to the American public.
To read the letter, click here.