It’s Election Day, and the Madison chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is reminding candidate campaigns, political parties and the public of the important role journalists play in providing news and information throughout this historic day.
In particular, Madison SPJ seeks to ensure that journalists reporting from candidate election watch parties this evening are unrestricted and free to do their jobs. That means journalists should have visual and interview access to attendees and candidates and not be limited from moving about.
Increasingly, political campaigns have restricted the movement of reporters at events through the use of holding pens, making it more difficult for journalists to do their jobs. Notably, in 2012, campaigns for Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate candidates roped off media from people attending Election Night parties in an effort to prevent interviews.
Earlier today, Madison SPJ emailed letters to the campaigns of Sen. Ron Johnson, Rep. Paul Ryan and Senate candidate Russ Feingold urging them to allow journalists to do their jobs this evening without restrictions.
An informed citizenry depends on a free and open press. Tonight, let the media do their jobs.