This bill takes away the power to bring important news to the people of Oregon from any organization who is not credentialed through the government by requiring public bodies to only grant credentialed news media access to scenes of emergencies or emergency police activity that are otherwise closed to public, directs State Police to develop guidelines for press credentialing and content of briefings. The law proposes to grant favoritism to only select main stream media outlets.
Personal Choice and Responsibility
An Emergency Clause has been attached to this legislation, which would make the law instantly placed into law and prevent public challenge. The guidelines for when public bodies should conduct safety briefings for news media includes recommended content that is filter news by rulemaking that news representatives don’t have access to for verification.
When government heavily mandates journalism, the truly free press cannot easily or accurately portray the news of the stories happening around us, information that we all rely on for various reasons. Free speech in danger can endanger us all. The bill states that it would give officials of public bodies the power to grant news media representatives access to scenes of emergencies or emergency police activity that are otherwise closed to the public. It does provide exceptions when access may be denied. Perhaps most disturbingly, the bill directs the Department of State Police to develop guidelines for press credentialing, and requires the department to consult with law enforcement and fire department personnel, representatives of local governing bodies and representatives of news media organizations in developing those guidelines. Proposed to be hidden in the law that access to scenes of emergencies or emergency police activity may be denied if the presence of news media representatives or the activities being conducted by new media representatives compromise the safety of emergency response employees, impede the response of emergency equipment or personnel or impede the investigation of the incident that constitutes the scene of emergency or emergency police activity. All excuses to deny public to eyewitness facts.
HB 2486 can be described as anti-independent journalism legislation. The law proposes to grant favoritism to only select main stream media outlets.