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Journalists call for end to flack-approval for federal interviews

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  1. Newsgathering
The Association of Health Care Journalists is looking for a little change it can believe in, pushing the Obama administration to…

The Association of Health Care Journalists is looking for a little change it can believe in, pushing the Obama administration to dump policies in many federal agencies that require a flack’s approval for, and monitoring of, news interviews with government employees.

The association sent a letter to President Obama himself in late February asking for an end to the policies, which "hamper newsgathering and interfere with the public’s right to know."

"These policies make it difficult for reporters to fulfill their obligation to hold government accountable to the citizens it serves," the letter continues, pointing to an increased likelihood of errors and incomplete information in news stories as enhanced risks. "Further, they deny the public access to the vast reservoir of experts who are paid by their tax dollars."