Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Who Gets to Decide Whom the Media Is? Part Four: Brian Colõn

What’s Wrong With This Picture?
August 22, 2010
“Can you help?” I wrote in an e-mail to Democratic nominee for Lt. Gov. Brian Colõn seeking his assistance:
"Up until the primary, I was receiving media information about Diane Denish's campaign, however, since then, all I am getting is contribution solicitations.
Could you get my e-mail address placed back on the media list?"
On August 30, Colõn replied to my e-mail writing:
"Sorry for the delay. I have been on the road all week. I will work on this right away. Sorry for the inconvenience. I am sure it was an inadvertent oversight I will work to fix it."

My response was:
No problem at my end except that it doesn't allow me to choose how to cover events of importance. Can you check with the State Party and see if they will put me on their "A" media list also?
Colõn replied:
You bet. I will work on it.”

It was followed with:
Please contact James at to discuss getting on the lists.

Have a great week!
I wrote:
Mr. Hallinan,

Brian Colõn requested I contact you to be placed on your "A" media list so I can make meaningful choices about covering candidate during the campaign.

I am a freelance photojournalist with several outlet clients around the state.

Thank you
Hallinan responded:
Mr. Bralley,

Thank you for your e-mail, however I am denying your request. Please feel free to visit the candidates' websites for more information.
I again wrote Colõn:

Thank you for directing me to James Hallinan for being placed on the media list of Democratic Party Candidate events opened to the press.

However, as you can see from the attached, Mr. Hallinan has chosen to deny my request.

I will assume that he does not regard me as the Press. I'm aware from your comments in describing me to your constituents, Frank Gallegos and Clovis Herrera, that I am the historian of New Mexico politics.

As the political (photographic) historian of the state, I know that you understand the necessity for access in covering the current events so that later in they are viewed as historic events.

I hate to impose on your time, but if I can't cover events openly, one is left to cover what is hidden.

It would be a sorry state if one was left with the cynical perception that the New Mexico State Democratic Party were only recognizing the Press with whom they invest their advertising dollars and might be seen as trying to manipulate their message or good favor by the invisible influence of the commercial media.

There is no intent to do damage to a campaign, but not having access certainly can't help. It's not your style. Maybe you have some influence over those who have followed in your former positions.

If you could possibly pass on the importance of being covered, even if it means having to take a hit once in a while on issues that are uncomfortable. An open campaign is usually a sign of a future open government, while a closed campaign is almost a sure sign of a closed administration.

Thanks again for your help and hope to see you on the trail.

Sept. 1, 2010, Colõn called me and suggested I speak to the Denish/Colõn campaign communications director Chris Cervini. I wrote Cervini the identically worded “Request to be placed on Media list,” as I sent to Hallinan. I received no response.
So, What’s Wrong With This Picture?
These events will become the impetus of several further accounts in this series.

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