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Wisconsin’s Governor needs to be more media friendly

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Some troubling trends from Wisconsin’s governor when it comes to freedom of the press. Gov. Tony Evers claims he is media friendly, and generally speaking he is more accessible to reporters than his predecessor. But Evers has faced criticism over his handling of open records requests, and now he is facing a lawsuit from a conservative group over lack of access to the governor. The MacIver Institute for Public Policy claims it is being prevented from properly covering Wisconsin’s governor because the group which operates the MacIver News Service is not allowed to cover Evers’ news conferences. It came to a head last year when Evers held a news conference to outline his plans for a new state budget. MacIver claims it was blocked from attending that briefing, and that it is not provided the credentials necessary to attend regular media briefings. It is no secret that MacIver isn’t writing flattering pieces on Evers. But that shouldn’t matter. A governor shouldn’t decide who can report on his public activities based on the politics of the media organization. That is how freedom of the press works. You might not like the message, but you have to respect its right to deliver it. Evers is wrong on this one, and should provide access to all groups requesting it, regardless of whether he likes their reporting.

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