Citing a large number of meetings and events being off-limits to the media, the AP report suggests there's a "larger trend of government officials limiting access to the media."
"In nearly five months in office," the report reads, "de Blasio barred the media from 53 events and limited access to 30 more." In the "limited access" scenario, the coverage was limited to a press pool, usually one reporter, one photographer and one TV crew, says the report.
"The press is a stand-in for the public" and so the limited press availability negatively affects de Blasio's constituency, AP said.
Kathleen Carroll, AP's executive editor, criticized attempts by public officials to shut out or limit the press and criticized de Blasio's actions saying the mayor's "most-used rubber stamp" is the one that says "closed to the press."
The events being labeled "off-limits" to the press weren't exactly top secret or matters of national security either. The media were prohibited from attending a meeting between de Blasio and the NBA commissioner, as well as a meeting between de Blasio and the Russian band Pussy Riot.
Citing attempts by both the de Blasio and Obama administrations to block access and then provide official photos for use by media outlets, AP noted that it "refuse[s] to distribute such handout Images."