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Law enforcement restricts media wildfire coverage

Local law enforcement tussles with media on issues of wildfire access, coverage By The Associated Press

DENVER (AP) ' Media covering Western wildfires face an array of obstacles, from Nevada deputies who arrested a newspaper photographer to a Colorado sheriff who barred news crews from an evacuation zone.

Tension between reporters and authorities is common during emergencies. In many cases, journalists seeking to tell firefighters' and victims' stories face strict controls on information.

Kelly McBride, who studies journalism ethics at the Poynter Institute, says law enforcement holds the upper hand but officials usually grant journalists some access to show they're upholding their duty.

In Colorado, the Larimer County sheriff won't let news crews into the evacuation zone until residents can see their homes in person. He cites privacy and safety concerns.

In Nevada, the Reno Gazette-Journal says it's preparing a formal complaint over the treatment of its photo editor.

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