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Muncie mayor tells city workers not to talk to the press

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  1. Freedom of Information
The mayor of Muncie, Ind. has clamped down on city employees who would speak to reporters, issuing a memo banning such…

The mayor of Muncie, Ind. has clamped down on city employees who would speak to reporters, issuing a memo banning such talk without her approval.

Mayor Sharon McShurley’s office "is ultimately responsible for the tone, quality and relevance of external city communications," the memo, posted on The (Muncie) Star Press Web site, said, and so to ensure "accuracy" and "that it is well written," McShurley or a staff member in her office will vet "all public information."

Supervisors are also directed to sit in when a reporter interviews a city employee.

An editorial Friday in the The Star Press condemned the memo as a politician’s insecure attempt to "control the message."

"Some people might try to equate the mayor’s new rule with that of a private company whose secrecy policies don’t allow employees to discuss company business," the editorial said. But "the employer of every single city worker, McShurley included, is the public, and the public has a right to know exactly what the city of Muncie and those employees are doing."