Senate Rules Committee Reverses Reporter Restrictions

The News Media Alliance was celebrating the news that the Senate Rules Committee had reversed a decision to make it more difficult to interview Senators in the halls outside hearings.

According to the alliance, the committee was planning to enforce a 1993 rule that required various permissions for a reporter to interview a senator on congressional premises, a rule that has not been enforced.

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The alliance was crediting Rules ranking member Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) for convincing the chairman of the committee to reverse the decision.

"We applaud Chairman [Richard] Shelby [R-Ala.] for reversing the decision and applaud Senator Klobuchar for her willingness to defend the freedom of the press," said the alliance. "Had the decision to bar reporters been upheld, there could have been severe consequences for the free flow of information to the public. We call upon other lawmakers to ensure that such restrictions are not considered in the future."

John Eggerton

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.