Skip to main content

NAB, Others Seek More Info on Election-Related Attacks

Supporters of President Donald Trump stand next to media equipment they destroyed during a protest on Jan. 6, 2021 outside the Capitol in Washington, DC.
(Image credit: AGNES BUN/AFP via Getty Images)

The National Association of Broadcasters joined in a letter from a coalition of news organizations to federal law enforcement agencies Thursday (Jan. 14) saying they wanted more information about the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol as well as the potential for further violence around the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

The groups said federal law enforcement was slow to hold in-person briefings about the attack or the possibility of others, which kept people in the dark and was both inexplicable and inexcusable, they said.

NAB President Gordon Smith earlier in the week called for briefings on potential threats to journalists from inauguration-related violence.

Also Read: NAB's Gordon Smith Urges Journalist Briefings on Potential Inauguration-Related Violence

"Going forward, we urge federal law enforcement agencies and officials to commit to holding regularly scheduled in-person press briefings about the investigations into the January 6 riot and continuing threats to our national and state governments," they wrote. "The media outlets and journalists we represent feel privileged to uphold the First Amendment by informing the public with vital information every day. But to perform their jobs most effectively, law enforcement officials must be more transparent. Given the clear challenges facing our democracy today, greater transparency and openness is a necessary prerequisite for restoring public faith in our political institutions and their operations, including security and law enforcement operations."

The letters went to Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen; FBI Director Christopher Wray; Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Pete Gaynor; U.S. Capitol Police Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman; U.S. House of Representatives Acting Sergeant at Arms Timothy P. Blodgett; U.S. Senate Acting Sergeant at Arms Jennifer Hemingway.

Also Read: Protestors Force Suspension of Congress' Certification of Biden Victory

There are a lot "actings" on that list because following the attack, for which law enforcement appeared ill prepared, a number of security officials resigned.

Signing on to the letter, in addition to NAB, were the Asian American Journalists Association, National Association of Black-Owned Broadcasters, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, National Newspaper Association, Native American Journalists Association, News Media Alliance, News Media for Open Government, News Leaders Association, Online News Association, Radio Television Digital News Association, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and Society of Professional Journalists.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.