Undercurrent

Nevada news associations call for ‘transparency and a civil relationship with media’ from elected officials

By: - November 18, 2022 5:56 am

(States Newsroom file photo)

In a joint statement Thursday, The Nevada Press Association, the Nevada Broadcasters Association, the Society of Professional Journalists Las Vegas, and the Nevada Open Government Coalition said the following:

With the 2022 campaign cycle coming to an end, the Nevada Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists Las Vegas, the Nevada Open Government Coalition and the Nevada Broadcasters Association call on all elected officials to commit to full transparency and a civil relationship with the media.

Respect for the First Amendment has eroded in recent years, both in Nevada and across the country. Some elected officials have branded the press as “enemies” or “activists” for asking tough questions, and journalists are more frequently being excluded from press conferences, rallies and other public events.

In a recent example, as reported by the Associated Press, Gov.-elect Joe Lombardo excluded reporters at two Nevada news organizations from attending his first event as the state’s incoming chief executive, which was held at a taxpayer-funded public school building. Lombardo has pledged to lead with “full transparency” as governor – a welcome commitment – but his decision to shut out local reporters is deeply troubling.

Democracy relies on a free and open discourse, especially as it applies to elections and the governing process. The press plays an important role in asking critical questions and holding institutions accountable. Moving forward and into the legislative session, our organizations call on elected officials, from all political parties, to commit to conducting their work in a manner open to all.

One of the news organizations the statement is referring to is the Nevada Current, the other is the Las Vegas Sun. Earlier this week, both were locked out of Joe Lombardo’s first public address since winning election as governor. Both the Current and the Sun were also not allowed to attend Republican Party election night gatherings.

With rare exceptions, throughout the 2022 campaign season, the campaigns of Lombardo and other high profile Republican candidates did not respond to requests for comment from the Current, or even provide the Current with routine press statements or notices or campaign appearances. Republican U.S. Senate candidate Adam Laxalt removed a Nevada Current reporter from a campaign rally featuring Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

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Hugh Jackson
Hugh Jackson

Hugh Jackson was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and author of the Las Vegas Gleaner political blog. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and editor at the Casper (Wyoming) Star-Tribune.

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