TBS Today, Dec. 1

TBS Today, Dec. 1
David Loy of the First Amendment Coalition. Holly Wright

We're a week past Thanksgiving but I'm writing today full of gratitude for the incredible response (on so many levels) to what's happened since Wednesday.

THANK YOU, readers, for picking up the call. Since our email last night asking for support in the fight for press freedom, we've picked up more than 50 new paying members. That's huge and unprecedented.

Still not quite to 1,200 — but the gap is down to single digits. That would not be possible without your incredible generosity and support.

This afternoon, the First Amendment Coalition, SPJ NorCal and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press issued a new statement in direct response to the DA's justification for keeping me out of Wednesday's press conference.

Read it here.

The First Amendment Coalition's David Loy spoke at length to NBC Bay Area last night and we highly recommend his interview.

"The DA obviously knows the law," Anchor Raj Mathai said, asking, "Is her explanation in this valid, that this journalist didn't have the necessary credentials to attend that news conference? There seems to be a nuance here."

"There is no nuance," Loy told him. "The DA is just wrong, I'm sorry to say. On this issue, the First Amendment does not allow that kind of discrimination between so-called mainstream press and so-called new press."

A closer look: East Bay reporter’s First Amendment fight
An East Bay journalist says she was barred from a news conference held by DA Pamela Price and now, First Amendment advocates are speaking out. NBC Bay Area’s Raj Mathai spoke to David Loy, legal director of the First Amendment Coalition, for some insight.

More news outlets have been picking up the story, including Bob Egelko with the San Francisco Chronicle.

Even former Alameda County DA Nancy O'Malley, who has been quiet since leaving office, weighed in.

O’Malley "said she admitted all reporters to news conferences while she was district attorney from 2009 until this January," Egelko wrote.

"We had a press room and we would never exclude a member of the press," she told the Chronicle.

The Alameda County DA's office, which has not responded to any Scanner inquiries since Wednesday, has claimed its media policies are longstanding.

But staffers have said that is not the case. The Scanner has filed a Public Records Act request to learn more.

O'Malley's last spokeswoman, who also worked for Price for a number of months before leaving, shared her own surprise about this week's events in a rare post on X (formerly Twitter).

This afternoon, I spoke with Henry Lee at KTVU. He has a story coming but you can see an excerpt of my remarks here.

And Berkeleyside also published an article today.

(Bside and Cityside leadership have also offered encouragement and support, directly and online.)

Alameda County’s DA’s office bars Berkeley reporter from news conference
Emilie Raguso, who runs Aipsasiamedia, was barred from entering a press conference at the DA’s office Wednesday.

In other news: I promise to get back to the daily news (I was in court this morning for a hearing on a Berkeley crime, but it was postponed) — but this is a critical issue and it's been the priority these past few days.

I have lots of thank-you notes to write and messages to reply to, all of which are forthcoming. For now, please know how much your support this week has meant to me.

In case you missed it

First Amendment groups ding Alameda County DA’s office for violating press freedoms
“The First Amendment prohibits the government from arbitrarily excluding specific reporters from access to press conferences,” they wrote.
DA Pamela Price barred me from her press conference: First-person
In recent months, Price’s office removed me from her media email list without explanation. Today, she refused to let me into her press conference.
Alameda County DA accused of restricting freedom of the press
The Alameda County district attorney is under fire from First Amendment advocates who say her office is restricting the freedom of the press.

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