Press credentials an issue for 2 NCPA members in Raleigh


Coliln Campbell of the News & Oberver in Raleigh reports that reporterers for the conservative Carolina Journal (an NCPA member) said they've been prevented from covering Gov. Roy Cooper's news conferences, but a spokesman for the governor says any incident barring the paper was "an oversight."

The publication is produced by the John Locke Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Raleigh, and its editor says reporters have been allowed to attend news conferences under the previous governors, Republican Pat McCrory and Democrat Bev Perdue. "I'm hoping Gov. Cooper and his staff will let us cover the administration's events as his predecessors did," editor-in-chief Rick Henderson said Thursday. "We're published by a nonprofit, of course, and as media markets change, more and more nonprofits will be doing basic reporting and analysis of government activities."

A story in Carolina Journal's January issue said reporters were not allowed inside a Dec. 15 news conference held to discuss the legislature's special session. It says a Cooper spokeswoman did not respond to multiple emails requesting access and notice for future events. Cooper spokesman Ford Porter told The News & Observer on Thursday that Carolina Journal reporters are allowed to attend the governor's press conferences. "Press events are open to credentialed media," Porter said in an email. "If an outlet was denied access, it was an oversight. There is not a policy prohibiting media."

On several occasions, McCrory banned reporters from N.C. Policy Watch (another NCPA member) – which is part of the liberal N.C. Justice Center – from attending his events. Neither Policy Watch nor Carolina Journal receives press credentials through the Capital Press Corps, a group run by journalists that handles media access at the N.C. General Assembly. Still, their reporters routinely attend press conferences held by legislative leaders.(Colin Campbell, THE NEWS & OBSERVER, 1/12/17).