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TV coverage banned from the Senate's gun-rights vote
The chair of the Senate General Laws Committee banned video coverage of the final debate and vote of his committee approving a bill that seeks to declare Missouri exempt from some federal gun laws.
Earlier, a reporter for an NBC affiliated television station had his camera physically removed by a Senate staffer from the committee on the second day of hearings on the bill.
The committee chair, Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Franklin County, had warned TV reporters the week before that he would ban cameras on tripods and restrict access to areas where it would be impossible to get a full view of anyone testifying before the committee.
Only the Senate's official photographer was allowed to use a tripod at the committee hearing. One reporter holding a camera by hand behind the committee witnesses also was permitted to record video.
After witnesses had finished testifying, however, Nieves announced that any further video recording was prohibited during the committee's executive session to debate and vote on the bill.
The reporter for Columbia-based KOMU-TV had placed a tripod with his camera in one of the two locations were TV news reporters traditionally have been allowed to photograph committee hearings without objections. When the Jan.28 meeting began, however, a Senate staffer was ordered to remove the camera.
— Phill Brooks
Posted: Thursday, February 6, 2014 12:00 am
The recent decision of the Senate General Laws Committee chairman to restrict TV coverage of the committee has reminded me of the evolution I’ve observed in the legislature’s acceptance of public scrutiny — and the unintended frustrations.
The committee chairman, Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Franklin County, banned video recording of the committee’s vote on a gun-rights bill.
Phill Brooks has been a Missouri statehouse reporter since 1970. He is the statehouse correspondent for KMOX Radio, director of MDN and a faculty member of the Missouri School of Journalism.
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Thursday, February 6, 2014 12:00 am.