Gov. Frank Murkowski, calling certain reporters disrespectful and unprofessional, recently refused to allow them access to his press opportunity. A review of the situation shows the reporters were just doing their job - asking pointed questions that the governor wasn't answering.
Murkowski's lack of responsiveness has become an ongoing problem. In many cases, reporters have been unable to get basic information from the governor's office, such as the governor's schedule. We know our governor is important, but to refuse to disclose such information for months after the date in question? To refuse Freedom of Information requests?
The Murkowski administration relies heavily on its own media to get its message to the public. This is not the healthy debate on the issues that the public deserves. Coupled with his refusal to allow reporters who ask the hard questions access to his press opportunities, it creates a serious First Amendment problem.
The Alaska Press Women encourages Murkowski to work toward a more open and honest relationship with the news media for the sake of the public, which he is sworn to serve.
Elise Patkotak, President
Alaska Press Women