Magazine article The Quill

SPJ Condemns University Action against Sports Reporter

Magazine article The Quill

SPJ Condemns University Action against Sports Reporter

Article excerpt

Staff report

The University of Tennessee's action against Knoxville News Sentinel sportswriter Dave Hooker demonstrated what happens when so-called information facilitators transform themselves into information firewalls, said Sonny Albarado, Region 12 director of the Society of Professional Journalists.

When Hooker directly contacted an injured university football player and conducted an exclusive and consented interview, his credentials were revoked by the athletics department. Hooker broke no rules, other than those related to the arrogant efforts of the university's sports information director to try to manipulate the news.

In a statement concerning the incident, Albarado stated in part: "The Society understands the desire of public relations professionals to control access to their clients, especially in the case of athletes and other public figures who might otherwise spend too much of their time responding to media calls. …

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