07/08/2014 12:45 pm ET Updated Jul 08, 2014

Journalism Groups Want Obama To Stop These Frustrating Practices


Journalists called on President Obama on Tuesday to end practices that limit their communication with federal agencies.

Thirty-eight journalism and government groups, including the Poynter Institute and Reporters Without Borders, signed a letter to the president lobbying for an end to policies that they believe prevent the public from getting crucial information. Those practices, according to a statement from the Society of Professional Journalists, include: requiring journalists to communicate with staff in federal agencies through public information offices and submit their questions for vetting, and monitoring their interviews with sources.

"The stifling of free expression is happening despite your pledge on your first day in office to bring 'a new era of openness' to federal government – and the subsequent executive orders and directives which were supposed to bring such openness about," the letter reads.

The letter cited instances when federal agencies ignored requests from, or prevented journalists at the New York Times, Reuters and Investigative Post from speaking to government staff. See the full letter here.

The Obama administration has, of course, long struggled with issues of press freedom. Last year, for example, the White House came under fire after it was revealed that the Department of Justice had seized the AP's phone records and named journalist James Rosen a "co-conspirator" in a leak case.