Journalists stymied by PIOs

Let’s all be shocked together at this SPJ release:

A report released today during national Sunshine Week by the Society of Professional Journalists found that reporters who cover federal government agencies say they face impediments to getting information to the public because of interference from public affairs officers.

An online survey of 146 Washington, D.C.-area reporters in February indicated overwhelming frustration from journalists trying to interview federal employees or get basic information for the public.

SPJ president, in that release: “The findings in this report, while not surprising, are a dismaying trend. Government works best when there’s a free flow of information at all levels. The strategy of spokespeople acting as the spigots of that information inevitably backfires by fostering leaks and intrigue instead of the sunshine of full disclosure.”

This problem is not a new phenomenon. Take it away Jon Stewart.

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