(AP) — Media groups and others are urging the top Republican in the Virginia Senate to reverse course and allow journalists access to the Senate floor.
The groups issued a statement Thursday expressing disappointment that Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment has barred reporters from working on the floor and instead designating they sit in a visitor's gallery with a limited view.
Journalists have worked for decades directly on the floor, but Norment suddenly had them barred Wednesday, the first day of the 2016 legislative session. He declined to say what prompted the move.
The Society of Professional Journalists and its state chapter, as well as the Virginia Press Association, the Virginia Coalition for Open Government, and the Virginia Capitol Correspondents Association have asked Norment to change his mind.