The transportation authority that runs Washington D.C.’s subway and bus system is denying that bloggers are members of the news media when they request public information.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority denied D.C.-area blogger Michael Perkins’s request for a news media designation under the entity’s access-to-records policy in late December.
Perkins sought a fee waiver for the information he was requesting because he planned to use it in news stories on GreaterGreaterWashington.org and DCist.com. But WMATA concluded, “Because the appeal panel determined that the websites do not serve to provide information to the general public, we find that you are not a representative of the news media.”
Alternatively, Perkins asked for a fee waiver because the requested information was in the public interest, since he would disseminate the information in news articles on the two Web sites.
To that WMATA responded: “You also claim that prior articles written by you have been previously published by Greater Greater Washington.org and the Dcist, However, there is no direct evidence that in this case your articles will be selected.”