A union representing Bloomberg journalists has demanded that the publication lift its ban on investigating Michael Bloomberg and other 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.

“We are extremely alarmed by management’s decision to silence the journalists we represent at Bloomberg Industry Group, as well as the unrepresented journalists at Bloomberg News,” wrote the union in a late Monday letter.

“We call on Bloomberg corporate management to rescind its policy and allow journalists throughout the Bloomberg family to do their jobs.”

“The Guild believes journalists should not only be allowed – but encouraged – to thoroughly cover every single candidate as the profession demands in one of the most important elections in modern history,” the union added. “A journalist’s job is, above all, to cover the news and to serve as an independent monitor of power.”

The controversial decision announced by editor-in-chief John Micklethwait, was announced last week to the outlet’s 2,700 journalists and analysts. They will still cover polls, policies and how the Bloomberg campaign is doing, however investigative stories on Bloomberg or any other Democratic candidate are now banned. They will continue to investigate and report on the Trump administration.

Former Bloomberg politics news director Kathy Kiely told The Guardian that the new rules “relegate his political writers to stenography journalism … it’s not satisfying for journalists and it’s not satisfying for readers. I think people will go elsewhere for in-depth political coverage.”

Kiely’s advice is for Mike Bloomberg to step away from the company instead of undermining an organization “he worked so hard and spent so much money to build up,” adding that journalists at her former publication “are some of the hardest working in the industry. It is not an easy place. They deserve a hell of a lot better treatment than this. But I know they will continue to bust their asses to do great work, because *that’s* journalism.”

As Fox News notes, the ban has received criticism from both sides of the journalistic aisle.

“I am a paid subscriber to Bloomberg News because there are so many great journalists there doing amazing work but this is a real disservice to all of them,” journalist Judd Legum wrote on Twitter. “You can’t declare the biggest story of the next 12 months off limits.”

“Is this an early April fools joke? This decision makes a mockery of journalism. Their bosses actually ordered them to be fake news!” Media Research Center founder Brent Bozell wrote on Twitter.

“As a journalist, watching what’s playing out at Bloomberg News is making me sick to my stomach. Mike Bloomberg once promised he’d sell if he ran for president. In not caring about a) conflict of interest or b) journalistic integrity, Mike Bloomberg is exactly like Donald Trump,” Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote on Twitter.



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