Thursday, April 26, 2007

Middletown public information policy: Is it uniform?

A question is going to be posed to the Middletown Township public information officer, with regard to existing policy involving the protocol for access to elected and appointed officials (them answering questions directly). Specifically, the broad policy that has been expressed by the township is that all communications by all media will go directly through the public information officer. Subsequently, the public information officer will respond with appropriate responses and interviews may be arranged through that office. Direct communications with elected people is, by policy, not allowed without prior approval.

So, theoretically, editors and reporters from other publications or news agencies, aside from Courier, would not be directly in communication with the elected and appointed officials they are seeking in Middletown on the first call.

However, some anecdotal evidence has presented itself that is not the case and it is only confirmed in the case of one other newspaper that such procedures are being adhered to. The questions are going to be asked, not only to the township but also informally to other agencies about the status of this situation.

The answer will be interesting.

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