The Legislative Leadership plans to move the press room in the Legislative Building away from the action AND INTO THE BASEMENT. No, seriously. Take action NOW! More on the situation and suggested actions here.
According to “Media getting squeezed at Legislative Building,” 1/9/19, WRAL.com:
“For 56 years, ever since the Legislative Building opened, media organizations have had workspace across the hall from where news conferences are held and downstairs from the House and Senate chambers. But that’s about to change, and legislative leaders don’t want to talk about why.”
“Legislative Services Officer Paul Coble has decided to move the press to a smaller space in the basement in the farthest corner of the building.”
WRITE and/or call your representatives and Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger and Speaker of the House Tim Moore to tell them this is unacceptable. They are blaming Paul Coble, but Coble will listen to them. Meanwhile, Coble is refusing to talk to anyone about it.
Update: Expected date of move is March 5, 2019.
Senator Berger – Phil.Berger@ncleg.net, (919) 733-5708
Representative Moore – Tim.Moore@ncleg.net, 919-733-3451
If you can, write your own representatives as well. Find them at Who Represents Me NC, choose NC House and NC Senate and plug in your home address.
Note: the link and way to look up your representatives has changed from what we taught in our Advocacy 101 sessions in 2017 and 2018.
Write Letters to the Editor in your local papers as well – so more people find out how they are trying to impede media access at the Legislature.
The editorial pages of both the Greensboro News & Record and Winston-Salem Journal both featured an editorial that blasts the leaders of the North Carolina General Assembly for exiling the Capital Press Corps from the space it has long occupied to the basement of the state Legislative Building. See “In the cheap seats,” 1/23/19.
“The farther [Coble] can separate lawmakers from reporters — and by extension, the voting public — the better.”
“The shift of press facilities to an obscure corner seems petty and vindictive. It’s not only an affront to the people who attempt to cover the General Assembly for the state’s print and broadcast media, it’s an affront to the public, on whose behalf they do their jobs.”
“Berger and Moore should put an immediate end to this foolishness.”
Short link: https://wp.me/p22b2e-1Vl