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  1. That’s a really good post.

    I’ve just left local government after eight years in a press office and I must have written scores of those (scores, incidentally, is a press officer word for ‘we’d like to give the impression of lots but don’t have the stats to back it up.)

    That said, it was a great frustration to me to write a really lengthy statement that was boiled down to two pars. Even more frustrating when comments that formed a central part of the story were never put to the press office for a response.

    That said (again) I wonder here if the central issue isn’t getting the journalist to be fair and balanced. If they are their news desk or editor may not be. The central issue is having a direct and open discussion and publishing responses to media queries in full and then promoting them feels like the beginning of a response

  2. Hi Dan,
    Thanks for your comment. Given that, with online publication, we’ve now effectively moved beyond space constraints, there wouldn’t be any technical reason stopping either the newspaper linking through from the article to a fuller response from Govt or the Govt itself publishing its fuller response online. The reader could then see for themselves whether the newspaper has filleted the response fairly. Whichever approach was taken you’d have thought that it would act as a mechanism to encourage both the newspaper to represent the spirit of the Govt response accurately and for the Govt to be fuller and more direct in its response in the first place. That might enhance the quality of understanding and debate.