Saturday, December 27, 2014

Press club blasts Gov. Christie for 'blacklisting' news site

Gov. Chris Christie during a town hall meeting in Ocean City, August 14, 2014.  ( DAVID M WARREN / Staff Photographer )
Gov. Chris Christie during a town hall meeting in Ocean City, August 14, 2014. ( DAVID M WARREN / Staff Photographer )

The New York Press Club is publicly criticizing Gov. Chris Christie and his staff for blacklisting New Jersey Watchdog.

The journalists’ organization “expresses its outrage over the Christie administration’s apparent ‘blacklisting’ of New Jersey Watchdog, in an effort to prevent the news outlet from receiving press advisories and official announcements from the governor’s office,” Press Club President Larry Seary said.

The governor and his staff have offered no explanation for excluding the investigative news site from official communications.

“One may infer that, by suppressing information, the Christie administration may be attempting to hamper the efforts of New Jersey Watchdog’s efforts to cover political news,” said Seary. “It is ironic that Chris Christie claims to be a champion of open government while allowing his staff to deny access to public information, which is already available to other news outlets.”

In response, the website has resorted to Open Public Records Act requests in an effort to combat Christie’s selective government secrecy.

“New Jersey Watchdog is a legitimate, award-winning news outlet …” Seary said. “It has been recognized for its journalistic achievements and its use of investigative journalism to ensure transparency and open government in New Jersey.

“I hope this decision is reconsidered before it becomes a larger issue of press freedom and has to be resolved in the courts. Any denial of public information ultimately is harmful to our citizenry.”

Founded in 1948, the New York Press Club is dedicated to protecting the rights of reporters and supporting freedom of the press.

New Jersey Watchdog is funded by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, a 501c3 non-profit organization with news operations in 30 states.

The New Jersey Watchdog is a public interest journalism project dedicated to promoting open, transparent, and accountable state government by reporting on the activities of agencies, bureaucracies, and politicians in New Jersey. It is funded by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, a libertarian nonprofit organization. 

Mark Lagerkvist NEW JERSEY WATCHDOG
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