The Board of the Los Angeles Press Club strongly condemns the State Department’s decision to exclude most media outlets from covering a briefing on international press freedom.
On Monday, the State Department held a briefing call to discuss international press freedom with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The call, bizarrely, was specifically only for faith-based media. In response to inquiries from excluded journalists, the Department declined to provide either a transcript of the call or a list of media outlets allowed to participate and would not explain the criteria used in choosing those media outlets.
The LA Press Club joins the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in urging the State Department to immediately release the transcript of this briefing call, and guarantee that future briefings — especially those on issues of widespread public interest — are open to any and all interested journalists.
A free and unfettered press is the pillar of our democracy.