Ban on WYPR reporter an affront to a free press
Last week, Mayor Stephanie RawlingsBlake barred WYPR reporter P. Kenneth Burns from all future briefings post-Board of Estimates meetings (“Let Kenneth Burns in the room,” Oct. 16). The Maryland-Delaware-DC (MDDC) Press Association strongly condemns Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s action.
The role of the press is critical to a strong democratic process. Barring reporters from events shows a willful disregard for informing Baltimore citizens about matters of public policy. Mayor Rawlings-Blake should not dismiss a reporter because she doesn’t like the questions being asked; being questioned on matters of policy is part and parcel of leading the city.
Further, her allegations of consistently threatening and intimidating behavior are without merit, as Mr. Burns had not received any warnings or other indication that his behavior during his longtime coverage of city government was not appropriate. We respectfully ask that the ban on Mr. Burns be lifted immediately.