Skip to main content

SPJ Condemns Biden for Blocking Access to Border Facilities

President Joe Biden, joined by Vice President Kamala Harris, signs two executive orders on healthcare Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, in the Oval Office of the White House.
(Image credit: Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

President Joe Biden's honeymoon with the press may be officially over about two months into his term.

The Society of Professional Journalists Tuesday (March 23) called on the Department of Homeland Security to stop blocking media access to border facilities, condemning the action as a failure for the new President.

Also Read: SPJ Decries Race-Motivated Attacks

SPJ pointed out that Biden promised both more humane treatment of immigrants and more transparency. "His administration’s refusal to let journalists fully observe and assess the growing humanitarian crisis at the border involving unaccompanied migrant children shows he is failing on both promises," said SPJ National President Matthew Hall.

He said the President needs to let journalists do their job, including granting interviews with officials who can tell the public what is going on. 

While SPJ was no fan of Donald Trump, it pointed out that his Administration, as well as the two previous administrations, provided at least some access to border facilities.

Also Read: SPJ Says Trump Should End COVID-Related Speech Restrictions

SPJ said it will join with other journalism groups on a letter to Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas asking for access to the border facilities. The letter will make the point that the First Amendment is not suspended during emergencies, including a pandemic.

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.