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Arizona House bans reporters who won’t consent to background checks

Posted by   /  April 7, 2016  /  No Comments

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Howard Fischer, who has covered the Capitol for Capitol Media Services, set himself up in the first row of the balcony. His existing badge worked, he said, but he was told he could not be on the floor./from video

Howard Fischer, who has covered the Capitol for Capitol Media Services, set himself up in the first row of the balcony. His existing badge worked, he said, but he was told he could not be on the floor./from video

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services/Arizona Capitol Times

Claiming it’s a matter of security, the state House on Thursday banned reporters from the floor who would not consent to extensive background checks.

Several media organizations who routinely cover the Legislature, including the Associated Press, the Arizona Republic, the Capitol Times and Capitol Media Services were given until Thursday morning to agree to let House staffers check not just criminal and civil histories but also prior addresses and even driving records.

House officials said similar consents would be required of any journalist who is even at the Capitol for a day to cover specific local issues.

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