Garcetti Apologizes for Recent City Hall Media Restrictions
Inside City Council Chambers at City Hall | Photo by current events via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
At a meeting between politicians and the city hall press corps, Council President Eric Garcetti apologized about recent media restrictions at city council meetings enacted two weeks ago and said the policy will be reworked. The rules, which limited reporter access to councilmembers during meetings, have been a story onto itself, but
One apparent aspect is that the rules were in retaliation to less-than-positive coverage in recent months. "At least two senior City officials have told reporters the real reason for the new rules was aggressive news coverage of Council actions (electric rate increase, budget trouble, etc.) that had angered Councilmembers," said KFI 640's Eric Leonard.
On Friday, an officer threatened to arrest Leonard for taking photos during a public meeting when a protest erupted. At today's meeting, Garcetti emphasized that he has the right to take photos and that the officer in question was spoken to about the incident. “He had no right to do that,” Garcetti said.
Exactly how the rules will be reworked it yet to be seen. Councilmembers have said the rules were put into place because it was becoming hard to hear others speak. However, in the past two weeks when the media rules were in effect, councilmembers more than ever noted out loud that it was hard to hear.