WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) --- A University of Maryland journalism graduate student is in the spotlight after getting an apology from Vice President Biden's Press Office. Barr was covering a local event in Rockville, Md., on a domestic violence initiative featuring the Vice President.
Jeremy Barr, 25, had press credentials, but he sat with the general public instead of the area designated for media.
He says a volunteer female staffer approached him and made him delete photos off his camera. The staffer also scrolled through Barr's iPhone to make sure no event photos were on it, according to Barr.
"Well, I basically told her that I was using a simple point-and-shoot camera. And I wasn't going to take a professional level picture. And it was really a photo for a website. I really wasn't trying to game the system," said Barr to WUSA 9.
"I was basically taking a few photos of people that I came to cover. So I didn't think it was a fair argument because I wasn't trying to do anything wrong, and I really hadn't been intended to be in the section where I wasn't supposed to be."
Lucy Dalglish, Dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, responded by writing a letter to Biden's Press Secretary, Kendra Barkoff. Dalglish called the incident "intimidation."
Barkoff provided WUSA 9 with the statement:
"It is our policy that all of our open press events are open press even if a reporter is not in the designated press area. This was an unfortunate mistake by a staffer who does not regularly interact with the press. Once we learned about it I immediately apologized to the Dean of the College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, the reporter involved and to the newspaper. It will never happen again."
Barr says he has learned much more about his rights as a journalist. He regularly covers Maryland politics for the journalism school's Capital News Service, DC Bureau, operating out of the National Press Club.
He is eager to return to covering the news instead of being a part of the it, he adds.
Written/Reported by: Elizabeth Jia
WUSA 9 & WUSA9.com