Press gallery snubs Labor Herald. The Labor Herald may have launched this week, but don’t expect its journalists to become regulars at Canberra press conferences, after the website was unanimously declined membership to the press gallery by the press gallery committee.

Press gallery president (and Sky News host) David Speers conveyed the committee’s decision to Labor Herald editor Alex Brooks in April, saying that the press gallery’s membership rules excluded membership to those who work for politicians, lobbyists or government departments.

“As you acknowledge, the Labor Herald is funded by the ALP and is an ‘openly biased’ news outlet,” he wrote.

“The Committee believes this equates to ‘working for’ the ALP.”

Access to the press gallery used to be a difficult thing to attain for online news outlets, as only a few years ago the gallery was full to bursting. But it’s emptier these days, with redundancy rounds at major news organisations meaning there’s plenty of spare desk spaces. But not, it seems, for outlets set up by political parties. — Myriam Robin

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey