Let the media report the news
Red flags are immediately raised when any group wants to bar journalists from attending a meeting.
We realize private organizations have a right to conduct business in private. This is much different than public groups like a school board or city council that must allow the media to attend when a majority of the members are in attendance.
The latest media ban is from the Strategic Research Institute. At the two-day stem cell conference next month people will discuss intellectual property, cloning and stem cell biology.
The announcement of the ban comes in the same week that Gov. Gray Davis signed legislation that permits stem cell research to be conducted in California. This is a much broader approach than President George Bush took. He has limited federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research to a specific number of existing cell lines.
Those in support of the research say that one day scientists may be able cure chronic diseases. Opponents are against the research process because they contend it is murder to destroy a human embryo. Stem cells are found in human embryos, umbilical cords and placentas. They can divide and become any kind of cell in the body.
The research is going forward whether people believe it should or should not. The important thing is that the public know what is going on. In order for the public to know what is going on the media needs to be allowed to report on the issue. This includes the media attending the October conference in San Diego.
Journalists know how to work with on-the-record and off-the-record information. Journalists have long covered topics of national security. Trust us to cover a medical conference. Explain to us what trade secrets should not be published. But also trust us to print the truth. The public deserves to know what is going behind closed doors especially because a representative from the president’s Council on Bioethics will be at the conference.
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