Blunt Bans Media from Listening Posts

Posted: August 23, 2013 in Meetings

This makes me wonder if he would prefer to ban citizen journalists as well….and, aren’t most journalists in Missouri citizens as well?

Senator Blunt Bans Media From Listening Posts


As elected officials return to their districts to host townhalls, listening posts, and an array of “talk to the constituents” events during the August recess they’re learning that constituents are pretty eager to talk to them. As a precaution for his “listening post,” Missouri Senator Roy Blunt has barred media presence [my emphasis]:

Listening Posts are meetings with Missourians held by Senator Blunt’s staff across the state. During these meetings, Missourians are invited to share questions and concerns with members of the Senator’s staff.

Listening Posts are not open to the media – if you’re a reporter and have a question or a request for comments, please call 202-224-1403.

Senator Blunt’s Jefferson City office also extends one-on-one service to all Missourians who have an issue with a federal agency or need assistance. Please call the Senator’s Office of Constituent Services at (573) 634-2488 or send us a letter at 308 E. High Street, Suite 202, Jefferson City, Missouri 65101.

I understand that barring media gives district residents greater opportunity to engage with their elected senator. Their concerns and questions are often vastly different from what a mostly biased, “gotcha” media has in mind. However, wouldn’t some, perhaps invited, media coverage allow those district constituents who are unable to attend to take part in a way? And what of private citizens who are also citizen journalists? Everyone with a camera is a citizen journalist, it’s the new minute man.

Perhaps it’s because I view every opportunity to drive the agenda as just that, an opportunity. I do wish Senator Blunt would at least partially reconsider and invite a few media members in television and newspaper who are responsible enough (our state has a few) to accurately amplify the discussion to those unable to attend — perhaps web cast?

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