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Utah Senate looking to limit news media access to the Senate floor

Utah's capitol building
Utah's capitol building

The Utah Senate is now proposing a rule change that will limit the amount of access news media will have on the Senate floor.

Sponsored by Sen. Mike McKell, Senate Rules Resolution 1 will make it so that credentialed journalists cannot enter the Senate floor without first receiving permission from a Senate media official. These journalists will also have to follow new dress requirements before being granted permission.

Areas included within this rule change aren’t limited to just the Senate floor, as it will also include other non-public areas such as the chamber, halls, and lounge. According to McKell, the press is still welcome to all of the Senate’s committee rooms but they are simply asked for more space to work.

Salt Lake Tribune reporter Bryan Schott shared some of his frustrations through Twitter on Tuesday following the proposed rule changes. Schott believes these changes are part of a move that will more tightly control messages coming out of the Capitol and that by limiting the media, it’s making it harder for journalists to hold the Senate accountable.

A similar effort to block journalist access to the House floor occurred in 2018 buy those efforts were later abandoned following a pushback by news outlets.

Jared Gereau is pursuing a Journalism major with an emphasis in Social Media at Utah State University. He is planning on using his experience to pursue a career with USU Athletics sometime after he graduates. In his free time, Jared enjoys watching movies, playing games and creating content for his YouTube channel.