In yet another notable departure from free press standards, the Trump administration this week barred four print journalists from reporting on the President’s dinner with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The administration eventually agreed, after pushback, to allow one writer from the Wall Street Journal to attend, while shutting out those from the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, the Los Angeles Times, and Reuters, according to the New York Times.
The move appeared to be retaliation against reporters’ questions to the President at an earlier event about the President’s relationship with his former attorney Michael Cohen (a line of questioning that resulted in a previous reporter ban), who had testified on Capitol Hill earlier that day.
Restricting access to journalists—especially in an international setting—is an affront to our nation’s traditional First Amendment standards, yet it has become a hallmark of the current administration. The Authors Guild remains committed to fighting such restrictions at every turn, not only because they shackle individual reporters but because, by design, they aim to intimidate all journalists and deter them from questioning those in power, which is, after all, the fundamental task of journalism and a necessity for any living democracy.
Editorial photo credit: Mike Trukhachev