NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's administration has formally ended the Safety Department's media credentialing program.
Safety Department spokeswoman Jennifer Donnals said in an email to the Tennessee Capitol Hill Press Corps on Friday that agency decided to stop issuing the credentials because the badges aren't required to attend department events or to gain access to state buildings.
The credentials were last regularly issued when Haslam's Democratic predecessor, Phil Bredesen, was in office. Although news media members used the IDs while covering stories, they didn't grant access to restricted areas if that interfered with law enforcement.
The decision means state government no longer issues any credentials to journalists. The General Assembly issues credentials only to Capitol reporters from media organizations that rent space in the legislative press suite.
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