Hamilton's Media Policy Prevents Me From Stopping You (Further to my SCOTUSblog Tweets)

Further to (beyond 140 characters) this tweet of mine:

Thankfully, @cityofhamilton‘s media policy doesn’t allow current journalists to deny new journalists access http://t.co/YutdLWdlkh

— Joey Coleman (@JoeyColeman) April 16, 2014

One of journalism’s greatest sites is being denied media credentials by the old media, and hopefully will take the denial to the courts to gain access.

The site denied media credentials? The go-to source for accurate coverage of the Supreme Courts of the United States of American, the award-winning SCOTUSblog. (And by award-winning, not the garden variety type, They’ve earned the Peabody.)

Thankfully, this could never happen in Hamilton. No current journalist, myself included, gets to decide who does or does not get access to cover City Hall. In Hamilton, everyone is guaranteed the right to cover City Hall provided they practice responsible acts of journalism. There is no press gallery, no pecking order, and no division between paid and unpaid performers of the act of journalism.

Access Denied by Journalists

SCOTUSblog’s well-earned reputation for in-depth accurate coverage of the complex SCOTUS rulings and proceeding had earned it media credentials, but those credentials are from the Press Gallery of the United States Senate. Five journalists make the decision on behalf of the Gallery.

They have a conflict of interest.

Other media outlets, especially effective and efficent new media outlets like SCOTUSblog, are competition. If readers migrate to other news sources, there is potential lost profit for the existing Gallery members.

Can’t Happen in Hamilton

Thankfully, this can’t happen in Hamilton. Our City’s media policy is permissive and doesn’t allow current journalists like myself block access for a upstart journalist or outlet.

Journalism is changing, it’s getting better, and more efficient.


I’m proud that Hamilton has the media policy we do, I’m glad to see some many people (with special note of Raise The Hammer) are covering City Hall affairs and are able to get access to City Hall thanks to the new media policy, I’m proud to have played a small part in pushing for the policy, and I look forward to seeing more new media outlets building a great future for journalism that empowers citizens with the knowledge we need to support a functioning democracy.

I need checks and balances.

There is always the temptation to maintain things as they are, the status quo. While I hope I never succumb to the temptation, it pleases “present day me” to know any future “established me” can’t stop the future “present day me”.