Critics take aim at agency press offices

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Why did it take the Environmental Protection Agency almost a week to answer questions about that West Virginia chemical spill? Two staffers from the Society of Environmental Journalists pose that question in a critique of the agency's press practices. Meanwhile, two other journalism organizations issue a report saying that PIOs increasingly "require pre-approval for interviews, decide who reporters get to interview and often monitor interviews."

Okay, it's been awhile since I was an environment reporter, but the EPA of the 1980s was not remotely responsive. I had lots of contacts who leaked me things and then I had to go through the PIOs and admins to get an official comment. Delays were the norm, then, too. Did things get better and now worse? Or is this purely anecdotal?