Young America’s Foundation Student Conference Bans Progressive Reporters

jason_mattera1.jpg Starting July 30, the Young America’s Foundation – which “specializes in helping young people advance conservative ideas” – will host the The National Conservative Student Conference.

Julie Siegel, a staff member at the Daily Pennsylvanian at UPenn, contacted YAF and asked for credentials to cover the convention on behalf of CampusProgress.org, the student publication at the Center for American Progress.

YAF’s spokesman Jason Mattera, who describes himself as “the surprisingly fresh face of conservatism,” denied her request:

Our event is open to real members of the press. You will not receive press credentials. My advice for you is to watch it on C-SPAN. If you have a problem with that decision, you can complain to the Foundation’s media department spokesman. Oh wait”¦that’s”¦me. :)

Subsequently, Mattera made clear that his decision to reject Siegel’s request was made on ideological grounds. Mattera told CampusProgress.org editor Ben Adler that The Nation, the country’s oldest progressive magazine with a circulation of almost 200,000, would also be denied credentials.

Mattera has twice covered the CampusProgress student conference for the National Review after that publication was granted press credentials, including the 2006 conference which took place on Wednesday.

Contact Rich Lowry, who is on the board of YAF’s National Journalism Center and writes for the National Review, and ask him if he supports Mattera’s decision to exclude reporters on ideological grounds. Let us know what you hear back.