May 1, 2020
The Honorable John Bel Edwards
Governor of Louisiana
P.O. Box 94004
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
Dear Governor Edwards:
The Louisiana Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists commends you for designating news organizations as essential businesses during the lockdown for COVID-19. Journalists take their role as public servants seriously, never more so than during this pandemic.
It is vital that the public have timely and accurate information about this virus and the government’s efforts to halt its spread. This is especially true in Louisiana, one of the hardest hit states, and Louisiana print and broadcast outlets have risen to the challenge, even as they have been forced to lay off or furlough badly needed journalists because of the loss of subscribers and advertisers.
We thank you for acknowledging the press’ indispensable role in keeping Louisiana citizens informed, and for your own efforts in conveying timely information through your press briefings. You have set a positive example about how the professional relationship between government and the media ought to work.
Sergy Odiduro, President
Dr. Robert Buckman, Vice President
Freda Yarbrough Dunne, Secretary
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Gregg Trusty, Treasurer
Courtney Jackson, Student Board Representative
Bossier City, Louisiana
Dr. Tracy Standley, board member
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Melanie Warner Spencer, board member
New Orleans, Louisiana