My friend Rodger Beimer and I were talking about the future role of Public Information Officers who work for government agencies this morning. What happens to them when newspapers cease to exist? Who picks up the news releases for publication? Some of these releases offer valuable information on programs and policy and have been traditionally used by print media as a starting point for stories. Of course, you will still have many web sites and blogs that will carry this stuff, but mostly it will be spread out and dissemination to the public will be splintered. Forget TV News....they are not set up to do it.
Right now a couple of things should happen.
- Governments need central websites that do nothing but run these news releases. All in one place and not spread over umpteen departments websites. This will make it much easier to track information.
- Some enterprising out of work journalist should design a site that takes those news releases and separates the wheat from the chaff. We all know many news releases just exist to get some one’s name in print.
Actually, this should all be done whether we lose our daily newspapers or not. It is kind of surprising it hasn’t been done before.