Media ban infringes on democracy

President Donald Trump barred multiple media outlets from an off-camera press briefing with White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Feb. 24. Outlets such as the BBC, BuzzFeed, CNN, the Guardian and The New York Times, among others, were denied access.

The off-camera briefing took place in Spicer’s office, instead of typically used James S. Brady Press Briefing Room, in lieu of his typical daily briefing. Media that was allowed access included conservative outlets such as Breitbart News and television networks ABC, CBS, Fox and MSNBC. Both The Associated Press and Time were allowed entry, but chose to boycott the meeting.

Freedom of the press is a constitutional right in the United States and a foundational element of the nation as a whole. Media stands as another check on government, keeping the public informed on what elected officials are accomplishing and whether they are fit to lead.

While Trump has the right to both allow and deny access to various media organizations, actually exercising that right represents an unprecedented turn toward opaqueness.

Government needs to be held more accountable; media is an arm of the people and should not be barred from receiving information that is in the interest of the people.