As sources increasingly dismiss journalists, Poynter assembles best practices to help

Relationships and beat reporting basics are the keys to battling back against sources who don’t engage

Politicians have long stonewalled journalists. But recently, it’s gotten worse.

An Arizona legislator filed a restraining order on a journalist for knocking on their door. A Pittsburgh school board held virtual meetings long after the law allowing them expired. Politicians bypassed local reporters for partisan media outlets.

These are just a few instances of journalists being shut out of their efforts to cover public business and hold officials accountable.

Such reports led the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership at Poynter to convene a symposium to address the phenomenon. In late 2023, a group including public media leaders, entertainment and sports journalists, local reporters, political columnists, political advisers, editors, policy advocates and several Poynter leaders gathered in Miami at the offices of the Knight Foundation.

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Tuesday’s monster $3 trillion COVID-19 wish list, which included financial relief for struggling local media outlets, was quickly stamped D.O.A. by Senate Republicans. On Wednesday something

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