For the second time in a month, online news outlets have been rejected in attempts to obtain press credentials in the U.S. Congress.
The Russian state-owned news website Sputnik has been denied a permanent congressional press pass, based off a decision by the Congressional Periodical Press Gallery committee.
Gallery rules state that members cannot “act as an agent for, or be employed by the Federal, or any State, local or foreign government or representatives thereof.” Senate Periodical Press Gallery Director Justin Wilson stated that no member of the gallery is a state-sponsored news outlet.
Andrew Feinberg, the Washington correspondent for Sputnik and former staff member for The Hill, declined official comment on the committee decision. He posted on his personal Facebook page that the decision “is the most absurd thing I’ve ever encountered in a decade of work as a Washington-based journalist.”
Launched in 2014, Sputnik was founded with the mission of promoting “alternative interpretations that are, undoubtedly, in demand around the world,” according to the website head, Dimitry Kiselyov. The site was formed by combining wire services Voice of Russia and RIA Novosti.
Also on Friday, the website LifeZette, founded by Laura Ingraham, was approved for a press pass.