March 10, 2011
By Frank Emspak, Executive Producer, WIN
Last week, while working with WIN, Mark Roughen and his team were denied press passes by the Capitol Correspondents Association. After some intense discussion an agreement was reached to provide daily press passes to Mark and his crew along with WIN staff correspondents and producers Doug Cunningham. We were assured that this was the procedure that all press were being asked to follow last week. While we accepted this as a temporary solution, we did ask for permanent press passes for our staff.
On Friday Doug reported that the agreement was being honored, although he reported delay and difficulty. It’s clear that our agreement was no longer being honored in any meaningful way as far as Mark Roughen and his TV crew are concerned. Since Mark does TV he needs an electrical outlet. Five days ago he requested the electrical feed using the proper forms. He received no answer until today, when the request was denied. Literally at almost the same moment Fox news was given electrical access.
WIN staff and the journalists working with us were denied press passes because “union leaders on are our board”. As of now we are in discussion with legal counsel initially retained by IBEW Local 159 Mark’s local. They are preparing a restraining order, basically prohibiting the state from denying electricity to Mark. Our letter certifying that Mark was working with DME (WIN) is still valid as far as we are concerned. There is no allegation whatsoever that Mark in any way violated journalistic protocols.
Note: Workers Independent News is now an affiliate to Laborpress.