Thursday, November 01, 2007

Who is in charge here?

One day, [Frank] Gibson [currently with Tennessee Commission on Open Government] said, two newspaper reporters refused to leave when the Legislature was discussing the regulation of lobbyists.

The chairman tried to find a sergeant at arms to remove the two reporters, but was unable. The committee adjourned, and the following day, the Senate banned The Tennessean from reporting on the floor. It instead had to cover the legislature from the gallery.

The Tennessean sued in federal court, which ruled that the Senate’s ban on the newspaper was unconstitutional.

A public meetings law followed soon after in February 1972. Chattanooga Pulse

Let's hope that sort of action isn't required again. The difference between now and then--streaming video, You Tube, cell phones (with cameras), BlueTooth and WiFi and plenty of laptops (not to mention old fashioned pens and pencils) are at the ready. It's not just a couple of print reporters anymore. The Tennessean may buy ink by the barrel but Blogspot gives pixels away for free.

Gentlemen, we don't want to go there. Do the right thing.

See Regressive Government post.

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