Biz media upset with Labor Department
by Chris Roush
Andrea Papagianis of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press writes about how the Labor Department has changed its rules for covering its data releases such as the unemployment data.
“‘Make no mistake, these rules that handcuff the financial press does not merely represent an inconvenience to reporters, nor merely present a ‘new learning curve’ for the press to accept. Instead, the new rules represent a very serious threat to the public’s ability to receive critical public information on a fast and accurate basis,’ he wrote in the letter.
“In what the Labor Department claimed is an attempt to control the time-sensitive information, reporters will no longer be allowed to use personal computers and software to write and transmit stories from the press lock-up facility. These new measures are aimed at eliminating and preventing any security vulnerabilities, such as information breaches due to technological advances, according to an agency spokesperson.
“But some media organizations are objecting to the new restrictions.
“‘There are few government reports that have the wide-ranging impact on the market as the Department of Labor statistics, and we are troubled by the degree of government restrictions on how the press can fully and accurately report this data to the public,’ said Matthew Winkler, the editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News, in a statement.”
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