Reporter sues Memphis over exclusion from media list

Published 10:27 am Friday, May 15, 2020

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MEMPHIS (AP) — A journalism advocacy group has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a reporter in Memphis who alleges she has been excluded from a media advisory list in retaliation for her coverage of the city.
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press sued the city of Memphis, Mayor Jim Strickland and a city communications official on Wednesday on behalf of Wendi Thomas, a founder of the nonprofit digital news outlet MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, a news release said.
Thomas has been critical of the city and Strickland in her reporting for MLK50 and her previous position as a columnist with The Commercial Appeal newspaper.
The city emails media advisories and other information to a list of reporters, including information about daily briefings on the city’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The lawsuit asks the court to require the city to add Thomas to the media advisory list immediately, publish standards for including a reporter or news organization on its list, and notify any reporter or news organization prior to removing them from the list.
A city spokesman declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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