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posted by martyb on Thursday May 11 2017, @05:15PM   Printer-friendly
from the paying-the-price-for-freedom-of-the-press dept.

[Public News Service of West Virginia Reporter Daniel Ralph Heyman] has been arrested and charged with "disruption of government services" in the state capitol for "yelling questions" at visiting Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price and White House senior advisor Kellyanne Conway.

[...] "The above defendant was aggressively breaching the secret service agents to the point where the agents were forced to remove him a couple of times from the area walking up the hallway in the main building of the Capitol," the complaint states. It adds Heyman caused a disturbance by "yelling questions at Ms. Conway and Secretary Price."

The misdemeanor carries a possible fine of $100 and up to six months in jail.

[...] The American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia called the charges "outrageous" and said the arrest was "a blatant attempt to chill an independent, free press."

"Freedom of the press is being eroded every day, " it said in a statement. "We have a president who calls the media 'fake news' and resists transparency at every turn."

The statement said this is a "dangerous time in the country."

Price and Conway were in West Virginia to discuss opioid addiction in the state, which has the highest drug overdose death rate in the nation.


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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by AthanasiusKircher on Thursday May 11 2017, @07:40PM

    by AthanasiusKircher (5291) on Thursday May 11 2017, @07:40PM (#508271) Journal

    Guy is a blogger with a poorly designed website making grandiose claims.

    I don't know what exactly happened here until we see some footage, but claiming the guy is merely a "blogger" is nonsense.

    while "Public News Service" might sound like it is vaguely related to NPR, which is obviously intentional, and thus gets a pass as fellow members of the Blue Checkmark Mafia, it is just a front group for crazy.

    Uh, no. Here's the main website [] of this 20-year-old organization. In another post you assert a start-date of 2007, but that's only for the West Virginia branch of this national news outlet. There are some poor web design issues, but have a look here []. It's a network of state-based news services in 37 states, providing stories to over 8000 media outlets, and that link contains the following info: "In 2016, Public News Service produced 4,682 news stories which ran, conservatively, over 140,732 times on 3,818 radio stations, 1,089 print outlets and 201 television stations...."

    You ever heard of American Public Media [] or maybe Public Radio International []? They're also news outlets that produce programming and stories for distribution on things like NPR. I don't know much about Public News Service, but it sounds like a smaller player in this sort of thing which has focused on local state-based organizations to generate news content. I haven't really bothered to investigate this thoroughly, but it sounds like they distribute news stories mostly to local radio stations and local newspapers (and at cheaper rates than big services like AP and Reuters).

    As for "public" in the name, it sounds like their model is some sort of unusual democratic thing where members can choose to fund specific news beats (which could be specific states/regions or specific topics), and that shapes the kind of stories they do. It does appear to slant "progressive" in its coverage, but lots of news outlets slant one way or another these days.

    In any case, it's clearly not a huge organization, but it's not a random "blogger" either.

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