Have you recently tried to get information from the federal government or arrange an interview with a federal official?
AHCJ’s Right-to-Know Committee is calling on journalists to report their experiences, as part of a continuing effort to pry open the doors of the federal government. We’re looking for recent anecdotes about journalists’ experiences with public information officers, especially at the Department of Health and Human Services and any of the agencies that are part of it (e.g., CDC, FDA, CMS etc.).
Please write to Felice J. Freyer, Right-to-Know Committee chair, at email@example.com, about problems you have encountered, including mandates to clear interviews with the press office, slow responses, refused interviews, burdensome requirements (such as written questions and answers only), extreme time limitations on interviews, PIOs listening in on your conversations, or anything else that made it hard for you to get the information and quotes that you needed in time. Additionally, do you know whether your requests have been sent to HHS or the White House? What effect did that have?
For background on the committee’s work so far, see these links: