Dallas Celebrates Pride, Censors Press | 2010
I would prefer to be writing about my most recent Pride experience as a happy one as they have historically been, but unfortunately I do not feel that way. A man wearing an orange shirt who identified himself as the event coordinator for the parade subsequently requested that all media exit the barricades before the commencement of the parade. He stated that no press credentials had been issued for the parade event, even though historically this has never been the case.
The media present, myself included, agreed that none of us had been aware press credentials were required for this specific event (as they have have not been required in the past), & some media – such as the photojournalist with the Dallas Morning News – excused himself from the event entirely.
I can not recall when I as a photographer and member of the free press have ever been explicitly limited to the access of what might already be an obvious ‘off limits’ venue and/or situation for journalistic ethics, prior agreements, law or other practical reasons – but never at a public parade.
I’m currently investigating the incident with Executive Director Michael Doughman of the Dallas Tavern Guild who I hope can shed some light on what exactly the policy is, what it has been, where the applications for press credentials were made available and how future Dallas Pride parades will proceed.
As a photojournalist arguing the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution I assert that I, as well as the other journalists present – possess the right to accurately and fairly cover the events of that day as we historically have.
While I’m currently awaiting a response from Doughman, I have posted a slideshow of what little access I was able to achieve through the crowds of happy spectators and plan to update this blog again with his response to my e-mail.