From our friends at the Statehouse File:
INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mike Pence has canceled plans for a controversial website called JustIN that his office originally said would act as a news service.
Pence sent a memo to state agency officials on Thursday – four days after news about the website broke – saying that those plans had been canceled. He said all agencies should post press releases and public notices on the state’s existing calendar website. Only about half of those agencies do so now.
“However well intentioned, after thorough review of the preliminary planning and careful consideration of the concerns expressed, I am writing to inform you that I have made a decision to terminate development of the JustIN website immediately,” Pence said in his memo.
JustIN had sparked concern among media that Pence intended to do an end-run around existing media outlets. A leaked planning document included suggestions for “exclusive” stories that would be posted to the website.
On Wednesday, Pence spokeswoman Christy Denault had said the website and news service were never intended to be an end-run. She said the goal had been to provide reporters and the public with better access to state government news. She also said the administration should not have used journalistic terms like managing editor, editorial board and stories to describe the program.
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