Journalists hoping to cover a Republican rally featuring Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Senate candidate J.D. Vance in Ohio will have to agree to give organizers access to any footage they take, and could face questions about what it will be used for.
That is among the controversial restrictions placed on journalists as a condition of receiving a press pass to cover Friday’s event, which is being organized by Turning Point Action, a conservative nonprofit led by activist Charlie Kirk.
The press policy also restricts journalists to specific events and parts of the venue, and bars them from recording speakers who do not wish to be filmed. Turning Point Action has warned that violators could be kicked out of the event.
“These are highly unusual conditions,” according to Monica Nieporte, the president and executive director of the Ohio News Media Association, which represents outlets across the state. In particular, Nieporte called out organizers’ demand for access to journalists’ footage — something that many newsrooms would consider an attempt to meddle with coverage. “We do not agree that the Unite & Win Rally has any standing to be asking for blanket access to the content that is created by journalists in exchange for permission to cover their event,” she told The Washington Post. “The journalists work for their media outlet and not for the Vance campaign. Their content is owned by their employer.” She said her group has not been asked by member organizations to fight the restrictions, but she warned: “We strongly discourage our members from agreeing to any conditions which could lead to their content being censored or altered by a third party not affiliated with their media outlet.”