Lessons from CMA’s attempt to silence reporters

The biggest awards night in country music wanted to set the tone for interviews and protect its stars from loaded political questions. Neither the singers nor the press were happy about it.

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Journalists don’t like to be handled.

The Country Music Association is apologizing after the backlash it received from guidelines the organization issued to media outlets for the 51st Annual CMA Awards ceremony. In those guidelines, the CMA threatened to revoke the credentials of any media member asking about sensitive issues in the broader news media like Las Vegas, gun control or politics.

The policy read:

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