NPC Statement Is Misrepresented
The Oct. 19 Yann statement, which led the opening “What’s New” section of the Society’s website from Oct. 19 to Nov. 18, misrepresents what NPC said in the release it sent Oct. 19 to 390 major media with bureaus in D.C. PRS is obviously worried about the NPC’s stance and has done what it can to undermine NPC’s action.
The Oct. 19 Yann statement says, “And in its own statement, the NPC could not help but concede that many of Mr. O’Dwyer’s actions are ‘unfortunate’ and ‘even highly disagreeable.’ It strikes us as ironic that NPC would question PRSA’s actions, while at the same time excusing Mr. O’Dwyer’s.”
NPC did not “concede” anything about PRS’s charges against us. The sentence by Executive Director William McCarren says, “While we find many of the points in the letter unfortunate and even highly disagreeable, we do not think they constitute a reason to ban a reporter who has been allowed access for 40 years.”
McCarren is not “conceding” anything as claimed by Yann but is saying the “points” raised by Yann are “unfortunate” and “disagreeable.” He is not admitting the truth of such “points.”
This writer in a phone conversation and in e-mails to McCarren challenged all the major points in the 23pages. He decided to take no position except to say that the charges are “unfortunate” and “disagreeable.” They’re all false and twisted just like Yann’s interpretation of what was in the NPC statement.
The PRS Code says “Ethical practice is the most important obligation” of a member but PRS doesn’t put its money where its mouth is. Spending on ethics totaled $2,649 in 2010 and $2,891 in 2009 which is 0.02% of total spending of $10 million. It is the smallest item in the budget.
Legal swords are brandished and waved around threateningly by PRS. It has accused this writer of breaking the law at least a dozen times.
It is Not a Crime to Cover PRS
A Bill of Rights is needed for reporters covering PRS. The Society must stop charging any of them with crimes such as “hacking,” “harassment,” “eavesdropping.” “invasion of privacy,” “falsely characterizing professional credentials,” or “interfering with the employment and educational relationships of leaders.”
It must abandon the claim that it’s “private” because if it were private it would not have to file public 990 financial forms with the IRS.
Reporters should be able to join PRS and have access to all activities and reports including financial documents.
The Assembly and sessions at the national conference should be open to reporters from established media. No meals need be provided.
The restrictive “Media Policy” in the Newsroom must be removed. Demanding that all press contacts with members and officers be cleared with Yann or his staff contradicts the Society’s promise to advance the flow of information.
Yann and his staff should respond to all questions by reporters or members and abandon the policy of non-response.
— Jack O’Dwyer