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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

USC Agrees To Media Blackout On Bush's Speech

Miguel Arreola, Cortney Riles |
November 19, 2013 | 3:48 p.m. PST

Executive Producers

(Beverly & Pack/Creative Commons)
(Beverly & Pack/Creative Commons)

The University of Southern California (USC) has announced that Tuesday night's event with former President George W. Bush will not allow any live media coverage.

READ MORE: USC Limits Access To George W. Bush Talk

According to a USC official close to the event, the university signed a very extensive contract with the Washington Speakers Bureau that prohibits any members of the media from attending. That official also told Neon Tommy that the event is restricting the 1,200 member audience from taking photographs, recording the speech with audio or video, or live-tweeting the event.

Other news outlets, including KTLA-TV, are also restricted.

The Washington Speakers Bureau, the organizer of the event, would not confirm these restrictions to Neon Tommy reporters.

When asked if the university has the right to do this, Professor Jonathan Kotler, associate professor at the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at USC, felt that they had every right to do it.

"Absolutely," he said. "The university is private property."

Professor Gabriel Kahn, also a professor at the Annenberg School and former newspaper correspondent and editor for The Wall Street Journal, had a different view on the school's attempts to blackout the media.

"The idea of trying to enforce some sort of media blackout on any public event is increasingly anachronistic in this day and age," Kahn said. "Just ask Mitt Romney."


Reach Executive Producer Miguel Arreola here.



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