Not All Controls of Information Are Legal…All Are Bad.

It’s nice that the journalistic community is starting to speak with one voice about the insidious growth of non-legal forms of coercion being practiced with increasing impunity across the American landscape. Kudos to the New York Times for sounding the alarm about the growing boldness of PIOs and public relations “handlers” censoring the news.

It’s not just “quote checks,” however: PR handlers demanding that public officials route all incoming calls to them and forbidding governmental employees from even speaking to reporters unless they are “cleared” are at least as bad, and do untold damage daily to our knowledge of public affairs. SPJ is working with a group dedicated to fighting back against this development. More to come.

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