SABEW has launched an important initiative through our First Amendment Committee. We’re looking to accomplish several things:
• Advocate for SABEW members and for the press (broadly defined). Too often, journalists are experiencing serious risks and threats, both externally and internally. The threats include verbal attacks and reduced access from government, violence abroad and continued disruption of news media business models.
• Explore training and events related to press freedom, transparency and access to data.
• Release public statements when appropriate.
Public statements and events
• SABEW and 24 other journalism organizations sent a letter to the White House requesting a meeting with Scientific Integrity Task Force to discuss ways to protect against federal interference in newsgathering.
The groups would like to see the White House Scientific Integrity Task Force recommend agencies
—eliminate restrictions on employees speaking to reporters without notification of authorities, especially before but also after the contact;
—credential journalists to enter, without escort, any area of federal facilities where most employees are allowed to enter;
—and make it standard policy that when reporters voluntarily contact public information offices, they are allowed to speak to the people they request.
• SABEW stands in support of our colleagues and condemns violence against members of the media who are doing essential work in support of our constitutional democracy.