Greensboro’s new City Manager Tai Jaiyeobo announced on March 18 that the media would no longer be provided with a workspace in the Katie Dorsett Council Chambers during City Council meetings, as had been the practice for nearly 30 years.

Jaiyeobo said that the media would be provided with adequate workspace on the balcony overlooking the council chamber.

As you can see from the photo above, the view of the City Council from the media table that has been placed in the balcony is somewhat limited.  It would be incorrect to state that journalists cannot see the City Council from the media table that Jaiyeobo had placed in the balcony because, by looking under the railing, it is possible at times to get a glimpse of Councilmember Yvonne Johnson and, if she leans forward, even Councilmember Goldie Wells.

However, it is impossible to see who is speaking at the podium from the media table, and most of the city councilmembers can only be seen if you are sitting under or on top of the media table.

And there have been some other issues with covering the City Council meetings from the media table on the balcony.  At the Tuesday, April 5 meeting, the door to the balcony was locked before the meeting and there were no city employees available on the third floor to unlock the door, which made it extremely difficult for any journalist to get set up prior to the meeting.  But not being able to access the media table on the balcony prior to the meeting turned out not to be a problem, because the door remained locked throughout the entire meeting.

While it is difficult to see the City Council from the media table on the balcony, it is impossible to see the City Council or for that matter any of the Katie Dorsett ouncil Chamber from behind the locked door to the balcony on the third floor of city hall.