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Media outlets urge openness in Fort Hood proceedings

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  1. Newsgathering
A coalition of news organizations led by the journalism group Military Reporters & Editors wrote a letter to the Pentagon…

A coalition of news organizations led by the journalism group Military Reporters & Editors wrote a letter to the Pentagon Wednesday emphasizing the importance of public access to any military court proceeding against accused Fort Hood gunman Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, USA Today, The Washington Post, The New York Times and other media outlets joined the letter, which reminded Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Army Secretary John McHugh that there is a well-established First Amendment right for the media to access any tribunal involving Hasan, who is charged with killing thirteen military personnel in Texas.

The letter asked the Department of Defense and Army to be proactive in its efforts to provide timely access to court filings. The media outlets pointed out that while the Army provides some docket information online, there is no well-established mechanism for finding out when documents have been filed with military tribunals.