Press Club Panel to Debate Effect of Federal Public Affairs Practices


The National Press Club plans to webcast live a debate Monday evening over whether or not federal public affairs offices are crimping the flow of information about the U.S. government.

The event, which is cosponsored by the Club’s Press Freedom Committee and the Young Members Committee, can be viewed live at

Public affairs offices increasingly require that reporters conduct all interviews through the press office. U.S. departments and agencies often mandate or strongly suggest that their employees only talk to reporters through official channels and with communications staff present.

Public affairs professionals believe these controls are necessary to ensure that the press gets accurate information and the department or agency’s message is unified and coherent.

The panel will be moderated by John M. Donnelly, chairman of the Press Freedom Committee and a senior writer with CQ Roll Call, and the group includes:

Tony Fratto– managing partner at Hamilton Place Strategies, a strategic communications and crisis management consultancy; an on-air contributor on the CNBC Business News Network; formerly deputy assistant to President George W. Bush and principal deputy press secretary

John Verrico–president-elect of the National Association of Government Communicators

Linda Petersen– managing editor, The Valley Journals of Salt Lake; freedom of information chair for the Society of Professional Journalists; and president of the Utah Foundation for Open Government

Carolyn Carlson – former AP reporter; assistant professor of communication at Kennesaw State University near Atlanta; and author of two surveys on the relationship between public affairs staff and the press

Kathryn Foxhall – a freelance reporter who has extensively researched the issue

The National Press Club is the world’s leading professional organization for journalists. Founded in 1908, it comprises some 3,000 reporters and news sources.

The event will take place from 6:30-8:00pm on Aug. 12 in the Club’s conference rooms.

To register:

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.