The Radio Television Digital News Association and its Voice of the First Amendment Task Force stand with the State Department Correspondents’ Association in its defense of the unjust removal of Michele Kelemen of NPR from the press pool covering Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s upcoming trip to the UK, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
The removal of Michele days after Secretary Pompeo harshly criticized the work of NPR leads us to conclude the State department took this action in retaliation against NPR as a result of this exchange.
We believe that punishing journalists for their constitutionally guaranteed right to seek and report the truth hampers the public’s ability to be informed about the actions of the administration. We ask the State Department to reconsider their ban and allow Michele to travel with Secretary Pompeo.
RTDNA stands ready to fight for journalists, and, more important, the public’s need to know what its public officials are doing in their name.
RTDNA is the world's largest professional organization devoted exclusively to broadcast and digital journalism. Founded as a grassroots organization in 1946, RTDNA’s mission is to promote and protect responsible journalism. RTDNA defends the First Amendment rights of electronic journalists throughout the country, honors outstanding work in the profession through the Edward R. Murrow Awards and provides members with training to encourage ethical standards, newsroom leadership and industry innovation.
RTDNA’s Voice of the First Amendment Task Force defends against threats to the First Amendment and news media access and helps the public better understand why responsible journalism is essential to their daily lives. RTDNA is a founding partner of the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, the archive of record for threats against press freedom in America. Reach out to the task force by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org and contributing to support press freedom.