Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Rotary gives NewsLanc the 'boot'

Reporter Matt Henderson has been covering Rotary Club meetings for months.

However, at the meeting of March 5, 2008, the current president of the local branch, Alexandra Weisensale, approached Henderson and informed him that he would not be allowed to stay because "Rotary is a private club and the press is welcome by invitation only."

It is hardly likely that Weisensale would show the door to reporters of WGAL, FOX 43, or the monopoly Lancaster Newspapers.

Rather Weisensale's action is a follow-up to the cancellation last year of Newslanc's publisher Robert Edwin Field's scheduled address to the club on the topic of political activism. Although personally invited by Rotary Club top officials, the invitation was withdrawn reportedly because of pressure from members.

When asked today to comment, Field said, "Normally, Rotary Clubs are open minded and solicitous of different view points. Apparently, the local Rotary has recently fallen under the influence of powerful business influences that place their own interests above the freedom of the press ."