SPJ members discuss conflicts between reporters, government flacks at National Press Club event

Linda Petersen, SPJ’s National Freedom of Information chairwoman, and former SPJ National President Carolyn Carlson participated on a panel at the National Press Club Aug. 12 on the conflicts between journalists and public affairs officers.

Carlson presented the findings of surveys she has done on attitudes of reporters and spokespeople toward each other. The surveys showed journalists found PIOs to be a barrier to getting information in many cases, while PIOs admitted to going as far as blocking news organizations they didn’t like.

Petersen pointed out that the attitudes have filtered down to the local level, with city spokespeople insisting they were the only ones journalists could speak to about such simple things as when an Easter egg hunt begins.

You can watch the event here.

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