MRE Protests Threat of Press Restrictions on Capitol Hill

The Military Reporters & Editors association joined with eight other news organizations in protesting potential restrictions on reporters’ access to lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

News reports this week indicated that the Senate Rules Committee was considering requiring that reporters who want to audiotape or videotape members of Congress must receive prior permission, as described by the Radio Television Digital News Association. The committee chairman subsequently said it was a miscommunication, and no new rules were being considered.

But press groups are nonetheless concerned and continue to monitor the issue.
“We reporters must be able to ask lawmakers questions in public areas, or else we can’t do our jobs effectively,” said John M. Donnelly, president of Military Reporters & Editors, or MRE. “It is in everyone’s interest—lawmakers, journalists and the public alike—to maintain the traditional openness on Capitol Hill.”

MRE is the preeminent organization for U.S. media professionals specializing in national security. Its mission is to foster networking among media professionals on the national security beat, to advocate for their rights and to educate them and the public about the U.S. military.