On February 2 we reported that the Commissioners Court adopted a new policy preventing the media from interviewing department heads, severely restricting their ability to learn what is happening within the County.

Judge Ricardo Samaniego told Jennifer Cuevas of KFOX14 that the policy change was needed in order to control misinformation and provide transparency.

What a load of bullshit!

This morning Lesley Engle, Content Manager for ABC-7, addressed the Commissioners Court and excoriated them for stonewalling the media.

“ABC-7 does not want scripted, manicured responses. We want the truth. We want to speak to officials who have the best knowledge on a particular topic. We also want to freely reach out to any public official we want. After all, they are on the public payroll.”

Please listen to her entire comment!

We wish to congratulate Ms. Engle for having the courage and conviction to remind our County leaders that they do not get to mess with the First Amendment to the United States Constitution!

Her comments apparently had the intended effect, since the County backpedaled immediately and rescinded the policy, at least until they can come up with one that is less controversial.

This is why KVIA ABC-7 has the highest rated newscasts in El Paso. Their journalists are serious professionals who deliver actual news rather than boring us with murders, traffic accidents, the weather or, in the case of KTSM today, the discoloration of water from fire hydrants.

It is time for our media to establish a press club that will advocate forcefully for their rights rather than host cocktail parties in trendy bars.

Tune in to ABC-7 tonight at 10:00pm for the latest!