The Virginia Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, joined by the Virginia Press Association, urges the Newport News City Council to take immediate action to provide live broadcasts of its work sessions via the internet and/or public access television and to post online archived video recordings of such meetings.
We believe it is crucial for the public to be able to watch the City Council at its work sessions receive and discuss information related to public issues. This is especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic, when it is difficult and at times unsafe for Newport News residents, as well as journalists, to attend City Council work sessions.
The Newport News City Council is the only local governing body in Hampton Roads that does not record its work sessions with either audio or video. Most localities in the region broadcast their work sessions live, either online or on a public access TV channel. The information discussed in these meetings is of vital importance to the public.
The people of Newport News already fund a top-notch broadcast and communications team to run broadcasts of formal City Council meetings. The public deserves to be able to watch the council’s work sessions as well.
The SPJ Virginia Pro board approved the above resolution at its July meeting, and the Virginia Press Association endorsed the statement last week.