AP, Reuters Won’t Cover Fox News Republican Debate

By Alex Weprin 

Fox News will host the first Republican Presidential primary debate tonight, and five hopefuls are slated to appear. Two organizations that will not be making an appearance are the two major wire services, the Associated Press and Reuters.

The AP and Reuters say that “restrictions placed on media access” are the reason behind sitting out the event.

“The debate sponsors, Fox News Channel and the South Carolina Republican Party, will only allow photos to be taken in the moments ahead of the debate and not during the event itself,” the AP said in an advisory to editors.


“These are restrictions that violate basic demands of newsgathering and differ from other debates where more access was granted. Accordingly, the AP will not staff the event in any format nor will the AP disseminate any pool photos taken by another outlet.”

Of course, many of the high-profile candidates expected to run in 2012 are also sitting out the debate, including Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee.

Update: a tipster forwarded us MSNBC’s press guidelines for its debates during the 2008 primary campaign. It allows essentially unlimited use of video and audio from the debates.