Electronic Media Banned from Bringing Recording Devices to Ashcroft Speech

Sep 12, 2007

Broadcast journalists won't be allowed to bring recording devices to a public speech by former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft will speak tonight at 7 on the campus of Missouri State University. The event is free and open to the public but the electronic media will not be allowed to bring in audio or video recording devices.

The public will not be prohibited from bringing in cell phones and cameras, some of which record photos and video.

Some university faculty have spoken out against the restrictions.

Missouri State Journalism Professor Andrew Cline says it's an affront to the public.

Asked about the restrictions on the event, university officials noted that a private group is renting Hammons Hall for the event. Missouri State President Michael Nietzel.

But Journalism Professor Andrew Cline points out that the tickets have Missouri State University on them. The university's website promotes the event as well.

Cline says the university should examine its policies for renting its facilities to private groups.

Cline says the ban on recording devices by the electronic media gives politicians plausible deniability when a reporter who has taken handwritten notes quotes the politician.