Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office bars KYW Newsradio reporter from press conference

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner.
Photo credit Pat Loeb/KYW Newsradio
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office did not allow KYW Newsradio's Crime and Justice reporter, Kristen Johanson, to enter a news conference open to other media outlets Wednesday afternoon.
The press conference provided new information in the case of 18-year-old Faayadh Gillard, who was accused of shooting his twin earlier in the month and had charges against him dropped earlier Wednesday morning.

I, as the crime journalist for @kywnewsradio, was just barred from going to the @philadao press conference. I don’t know why. I wasn’t given a reason. Apparently the press conference was invite-only.

— Kristen Johanson (@KristenJohanson) December 11, 2019

District Attorney Larry Krasner was asked about the barring of Johanson during the news conference by FOX 29's Jeff Cole.

"Did you bar Kristen Johanson from KYW radio from coming to this press conference and why?" Cole asked.

"What I can tell you is I did not bar anybody from coming to a conference. We always enjoy having Kristen Johanson here and if there's been some kind of miscommunication, then I'm sorry to hear that that has occurred," Krasner responded.

Following this incident, a spokesperson for the Philadelphia DA's Office, Jane Roh, said only reporters who requested comment on the case were notified of the press conference. “We brought them in at the same time for efficiency,” she told KYW Newsradio in an email. 

Julie Shaw, a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, told KYW Newsradio she did request comment about the story, but also was not invited to the press conference.

When Johanson arrived at the District Attorney's Office, she showed her press pass to security and wrote her name down on the media list. She was then told she was not allowed to go up to the news conference.

Roh cited "security protocols" as part of the reason Johanson was denied access.

"A press conference open to some members of the media should be open to all," said KYW Newsradio program director Alex Silverman. "To deny access to a reporter who covers the crime and justice beat in our city raises serious questions about how the District Attorney’s Office views a free and fair press."