Newspaper calls on Harrisburg mayor to end reporter ban

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The publisher of PennLive.com and The Patriot-News is calling on Mayor Eric Papenfuse to drop his ban on their reporters.

Cate Barron, vice president of content for PA Media Group, in a statement Tuesday said shutting off communication in retaliation for coverage Papenfuse doesn’t like flies in the face of the First Amendment.

“One of the reasons our editorial board enthusiastically endorsed Mayor Papenfuse’s bid for office was his repeated promise of much needed transparency in city government,” Barron wrote. “His decision to bar us from press briefings and forbid his spokeswoman from speaking to our reporters is disappointing, to say the least.”

PennLive reported Monday that the ban followed two stories that looked at the mayor’s private business and real estate holdings.

When asked about the ban, city spokeswoman Joyce Davis told ABC27 News, “the mayor’s official statement is that he believes PennLive traffics in hate speech and cynicism.”

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