Ot­tawa Ci­ti­zen says Sens re­fused to let re­porter on char­ter

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - SPORTS - BY GRE­GORY STRONG

The Ot­tawa Sen­a­tors ap­peared to fire an­other salvo in their on­go­ing bat­tle with the Ot­tawa Ci­ti­zen on Fri­day, with the news­pa­per say­ing one of its sports re­porters was de­nied ac­cess to the team’s char­ter.

The de­vel­op­ment came two days af­ter the news­pa­per said it would not take down a se­cretly recorded video of sev­eral Sen­a­tors play­ers from an Uber ve­hi­cle in Ari­zona de­spite a le­gal no­tice in­sist­ing that leav­ing it on­line vi­o­lates pro­vin­cial pri­vacy laws.

Hockey writer Ken War­ren was ex­pect­ing to take the team char­ter to cover the Sen­a­tors’ game at Tampa Bay on Satur­day but was de­nied ac­cess to the flight, Ot­tawa Ci­ti­zen ed­i­tor-inchief Michelle Richard­son said.

“I can con­firm it hap­pened this morn­ing,” Richard­son said. “For us, it doesn’t re­ally change our fun­da­men­tals. We’re still com­mit­ted to cov­er­ing the Sen­a­tors, both the good and the bad. Our cov­er­age is im­por­tant to our read­ers and to their fans and that’s not go­ing to change.”

Re­porters, broad­cast­ers, pho­to­jour­nal­ists and other trav­el­ling me­dia mem­bers some­times fly on team char­ters, which can be more timely and con­ve­nient than tak­ing com­mer­cial flights. The Ci­ti­zen, like most out­lets, pays em­ployee trans­porta­tion costs when char­ters are used.

The Sen­a­tors didn’t im­me­di­ately com­ment when asked about the story. War­ren de­clined com­ment Fri­day af­ter­noon, re­fer­ring ques­tions to Richard­son.

“He was given the itin­er­ary and didn’t know there was go­ing to be an is­sue with it,” Richard­son said from Ot­tawa. “But he’s still go­ing to make it for the game. Just a lit­tle bit of a de­lay.”

Ear­lier this week, the news­pa­per flatly rejected a le­gal no­tice from the NHL team, say­ing a video shot sur­rep­ti­tiously by an Uber driver was cir­cu­lat­ing on so­cial me­dia when the pa­per de­cided to re­port on it.

In the video, seven play­ers can be seen ridi­cul­ing as­sis­tant coach Mar­tin Raymond and scorn­fully dis­cussing the team’s penalty-killing per­for­mance.

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