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SPJ Ethics Committee Chair Andrew Seaman on Just IN, Indiana’s state-run news organization


Update 01/29/2015: SPJ is relieved to learn that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has told the Indianapolis Star that he is killing plans to launch "Just IN," a state news website announced earlier this week.

“While it’s always welcomed when government officials improve ease of access to public documents and communications, statements and lengthy press releases can never replace accurate, fair and thorough reporting. Understandably, journalists felt uncomfortable with the proposed role of Just IN. Fortunately, Indiana’s governor heard and addressed those concerns.

“In addition to improved access to press releases and notices, it’s the Society’s hope that journalists have unrestricted access to all public officials and employees. Open communication between officials and journalists is an important step toward an enlightened citizenry, which the Society considers as the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy.” – Andrew Seaman, chairman, SPJ Ethics Committee

Jan. 27. 2015

Andrew Seaman, SPJ Ethics Committee Chair, 570-483-8555,
Jennifer Royer, SPJ Communications Strategist, 317-361-4134,

The Society of Professional Journalists strongly supports freedom of the press as the Founding Fathers intended. One must wonder if a government-run publication, which is paid for by taxpayers, could ever be more than a marketing service for those who control the purse strings. If history has any lesson, it’s that there is no Democracy without a free press. It’s the Society’s position that the press is not free when elected officials serve as editor and publisher. SPJ will be monitoring Just IN moving forward.”

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For more information about SPJ, please visit


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