Feder: WIND's Amy Jacobson wins battle to cover Pritzker news conferences
In what supporters are hailing as a victory for press freedom, Amy Jacobson has won her battle to attend Governor J.B. Pritzker's media briefings as a journalist, Robert Feder writes.
Jacobson, who co-hosts mornings on Salem Media news/talk WIND 560-AM with Dan Proft, sued Pritzker and his press secretary, Jordan Abudayyeh, earlier this month for barring Jacobson from daily news conferences.
Pritzker said Jacobson had forfeited her status as a reporter by "taking an extreme position" when she spoke at a Reopen Illinois rally May 16 protesting the governor's stay-at-home order during the pandemic.
Backed by Liberty Justice Center, a Chicago-based conservative public-interest litigation center, Jacobson and Salem claimed Pritzker's ban violated Jacobson's First Amendment rights to freedom of the press and free speech as well as her rights to equal protection and due process.
On Monday Pritzker and Abudayyeh rescinded the ban and invited Jacobson "to participate in the Governor's press access on the same basis as other journalists."
The walk-back came in the form of a letter from the office of Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul. "Ms. Jacobson may participate fully in the Governor's press access, including but not limited to press briefings and conferences, to the same extent that any other media is allowed to participate," read the letter, which was signed by Assistant Attorney General Michael Dierkes.