Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mayoral Candidate Tom Allon Pledges to Open City Hall to Bloggers, Citizen Journalists

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 17, 2012
Press Contact: Evan Burr (917-686-8554)

Mayoral Candidate Tom Allon Pledges to Open City Hall to Bloggers, Citizen Journalists

Allon Vows His Administration Will Be Most Transparent in NYC History

NYC mayoral candidate Tom Allon pledged today that when he is elected mayor he will open up the City Hall press corps to include bloggers and citizen journalists to an unprecedented extent.

Allon, who is the publisher of a family of community newspapers and a former journalist, vowed to make his administration the most open and transparent in the city's history.

"Why is it that right now City Hall gets to decide who gets credentialed to cover it? That’s like the fox guarding the henhouse. When I am mayor I am going to invite questions from anyone who dedicates themselves to the free and open exchange of information, be it through political blogs like Room Eight, True News, and The Perez Notes, or neighborhood blogs like Boogie Downer in the Bronx, Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn, Queens Crap, Washington Square Park Blog in Manhattan or the Staten Island Treasure Blog," said Allon.

"Citizen journalists like Katia Kelly, Rafael Martinez Alequin, Rock Hackshaw, and Heather Letzkus have become one of the great bulwarks against corruption and incompetence we have in this city. In this age of media consolidation and newsroom layoffs, the Mayor owes it to the public to empower our tremendous community newspapers, ethnic media, bloggers and citizen journalists to ask the questions that matter most to their readers. If sunlight is the best disinfectant, it's time that we let the sun shine in to City Hall."

Allon said that rather than the current system of City Hall and the NYPD making the determination who is a legitimate reporter that he would appoint a nonpartisan, blue-ribbon independent commission of journalists, publishers, civil rights attorneys, and bloggers to determine the criteria for who is eligible for press credentials. He emphasized that public safety and security concerns would not be discounted from the new criteria, but that they would not be used as an excuse to curb the freedom of the press.

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