Last week I learned of the concerning media policy shift the Obama administration has apparently enacted for Gitmo. Traditionally, reporters that travel to Gitmo to report on the military commissions have, on planned down days, been allowed to also report on the detention facilities. However, since June, those reporters have not been allowed to cover both stories on a single trip. Instead, they are required to plan, book, and pay for a separate trip. Because media outlets are cutting costs during these difficult economic times, most will likely not pay for the additional trip resulting in less transparency and less coverage of Gitmo,
Additionally, many reporters have complained that short notice, or no notice at all, has been granted for upcoming media trips to Gitmo. Because of my concern, I wrote President Obama asking for an explanation of these apparent policy changes. Especially in light of Obama’s commitment to transparency, it is important to allow continued media access to Gitmo.
October 06, 2009, 03:48 pm