Matthew Simon
January 16, 2009

Governor Palin’s continuing national attention is changing the way local media members will be allowed to bring Alaskans upcoming session information.

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For the first time lawmakers are requiring press members to sign an official agreement.

A big reason the constitutional freedom of the press exists is to make sure reporters have free access to cover topics like the legislature, and act as public watchdogs.

The way it has always worked, Juneau’s Capitol Press Corps members agreed in principle to follow rules, and were given a press pass.

Now they’ll have to sign a document to receive one.

“And since national attention is what it is we thought this would be a good time to make sure we’re very clear.” House Rules Chair John Coghill, R-North Pole, says.

“Very clear” comes in the form of a new, three-page Joint House and Senate Press Rules packet.

Now, to receive a press pass, a media member needs to sign a contract saying they will abide by all 17 of them.

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