Journalists on the government's blacklist

David Sirota Published 8:21 pm, Thursday, August 21, 2014 As states move to hide details of…

Georgia (Aug 22, 2014)

Link To Article

http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/article/Journalists-on-the-government-s-blacklist-5704850.php

David Sirota

Published 8:21 pm, Thursday, August 21, 2014

As states move to hide details of government deals with Wall Street, and as politicians come up with new arguments to defend secrecy, a study released this month revealed that many government information officers block specific journalists they don't like from accessing information. The news comes as 47 federal inspectors general sent a letter to lawmakers criticizing "serious limitations on access to records" that they say have impeded their oversight work.

The data about public information officers was compiled over the past few years byKennesaw State University Professor Carolyn Carlson. Her surveys found that four in 10 public information officers say "there are specific reporters they will not allow their staff to talk to due to problems with their stories in the past."

"That horrified us that so many would do that," Carlson told the Columbia Journalism Review, which reported on her presentation at the July conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Carlson has conducted surveys of journalists and public information officers since 2012. In her most recent survey of 445 working journalists, four out of five reported that "their interviews must be approved" by government information officers, and "more than half of the reporters said they had actually been prohibited from interviewing [government] employees at least some of the time by public information officers."…


 

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