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.
Sounds like Yabadabado has a plan. Not very transparent.
John: As you know, this was the new city managers attempt to “squash” the Rino Times because you tell it like it is, even when it tells the readers the “truth” about what is going on in the City of Greensboro. It is strictly “punishment” for not agreeing to “spin ” what the City Council wants the public to know. Keep up the work. You are appreciated for what you do. If it wasn’t for the Rino Times, we would only know the ‘”whitewashed message” that the Council spews.
The location for the press is designed for the sole purpose of shielding the politicians from the press. See how this works?
Totally unacceptable in a free society. These kabuki theater city council shenanigans need more scrutiny from the press and the public not less.
John we loyal readers want to say Thank You to to you,Elaine,and Scott for the job you do. Without the Rhino we could never hear the other side of the story. Keep up the great work you are doing. Since you’re in the balcony try hanging a microphone over the rail to get better audio I’ll bet that would piss’em off
Parsing words a bit; I don’t believe there’s a “podium” for speakers from the floor, a lectern IS there but no raised platform. Yes, I know the meanings have become interchangeable due to misuse.
Joe, and A.B. Nelson above have nailed the reason for the new media table I believe.
I understand that an election is coming up. This might be a good time to let the city residents know how to the council treats the media and the citizens.
My opinion of the new City Manager is getting worse and worse.
You should read his ideas on the idea of “The Fifteen Minute City”, one is titled “Fifteen Minutes to Your Happy Place” By: G.M. Filisko, and the other “Five Ways to Plan for More Accessible Housing” By Steve Wright. These ideas aren’t bad for some places but are ones I’m sure he has planned for Guilford County and will not be cost-effective and aren’t efficient for an area as heavily car-dependent as this county is. His ideas are very much a part of the new way of progressive thinking, and one that means the citizens need not have input into decision making because the government is doing everything for the good of the people and they will like it.