Illinois journalists fight official’s media policy

Journalists in Illinois are contending with a public official’s media policy that requires reporters to submit questions in advance of an interview and face termination of the interview if the reporter asks questions that don’t appear on a pre-approved list.

The RTDNA, Illinois News Broadcasters Association, the Illinois Broadcasters Association and the Illinois Press Association sent a letter to Marilyn Hite Ross expressing their concerns about the policy and the removal of a reporter from a news conference when the reporter asked a question not related to the stated topic for the news conference.

Your insistence that news organizations submit a written interview request, and especially the requirement to specifically identify potential questions and to provide the perspective of the story, makes your office an outlier among public institutions here and around the state.

You can read more about the situation here and be on the lookout for similar situations in your coverage area.