Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Galveston Officials Restrict Media Access after Ike

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Galveston Officials Restrict Media Access after Ike

Article excerpt

The Galveston County (Texas) Daily News, which has seen delivery delays, Web site disruptions, and even the loss of its roof from Hurricane Ike, reports that city officials have now directed city employees not to speak to the press.

In a story late Monday, the paper reports that Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas "ordered all city employees not to talk to news reporters. She did not say when that order would be lifted."

Thomas and City Manager Steve LeBlanc, the paper added, would be the only city officials authorized to speak with reporters.

"City spokeswoman Mary Jo Naschke vehemently denied the city was trying to clamp down on news coverage," the paper said.

Calls to the paper were again met with a busy signal this morning, while access to the Web site had been unattainable. Editors have said that while delivery of the paper (which has been printed every day, they say) has been spotty, reporters remain on the job covering the storm aftermath.

Still, the paper reports that the media restrictions are adding to difficulties: "At a noon press conference on Monday, Thomas and LeBlanc talked for less than 30 minutes and refused to answer any more than five questions. Thomas said she would try to hold another press conference Tuesday. …

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