Media execs: Progress in dispute over gov’t data

Jun 6, 2012, 5:37 PM

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – Progress is being made in talks with government officials over a Labor Department proposal to require reporters to use agency computers and telephone lines to file stories on newly released economic data, media organizations told Congress on Wednesday.

Testifying to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Reuters and Bloomberg News officials revealed little detail about the movement they said has occurred in talks with Obama administration officials.

Dow Jones and The Associated Press have also participated in the meetings. The news organizations have fought the proposal to use federal equipment, arguing that it could allow the government to see unpublished articles and could make the process vulnerable to cyberattacks on government computer systems.

“The government would literally own and control the reporter’s notebook,” Daniel Moss, an executive editor from Bloomberg News, told the lawmakers.

Until now, data about employment and consumer prices are given to reporters in a department “lock up” room minutes before the official release so they can prepare their stories and then file them when the information is publicly released. News organizations provide their own computers, software and phone lines.

The department had originally proposed requiring reporters to use government computers, not their own equipment, beginning next month. Agency officials have cited some unspecified breaches of security procedures and of the embargoes the agency sets for release of reporters’ articles.

Under questioning by committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Labor Department spokesman Carl Fillichio said the department would show some flexibility in the July deadline for imposing the new requirements as long as the talks are making progress.

In a written statement provided to the committee, Fillichio provided no detail but said of the sessions with news agencies, “These meetings have been productive and I am encouraged by the progress we have made toward a solution that addresses the department’s security mandates, as well as the media organizations’ business and journalistic goals.”

Among those receiving articles from news organizations are traders who, using ultra-fast trading technology, are able to make massive trades in fractions of a second. Any information they receive before the data are publicly released can give them an unfair advantage, Labor Department officials said.

“A few years ago, a few seconds here or there would not have had much of an impact. Today, fractions of a second can equate to millions or even billions of dollars in market movements,” Fillichio said.

Issa, a frequent critic of President Barack Obama, said the Labor Department’s proposal had “serious freedom of press implications” and criticized the agency for seeking the changes “with the absence of a clear explanation and a lack of public input.”

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

Associated Press

Reports: Law enforcement officers shoot man on W.Va. highway

BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — Several law enforcement authorities shot a man on a federal highway in West Virginia, news outlets reported Wednesday, and video of the shooting was circulating on social media. Authorities did not release details or respond to requests for more information. In the video, the man walks onto the four-lane freeway near […]
18 hours ago
FILE - White House counsel Pat Cipollone departs the U.S. Capitol following defense arguments in th...
Associated Press

Trump White House counsel Cipollone to testify to 1/6 panel

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pat Cipollone, Donald Trump’s former White House counsel, is scheduled to testify Friday before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to a person briefed on the matter. Cipollone, whose reported resistance to Trump’s schemes to overturn his 2020 election defeat has made him a long-sought […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Inquest: Seattle police shooting of pregnant woman justified

SEATTLE (AP) — An inquest jury found Wednesday that two Seattle police officers were justified in fatally shooting a mentally unstable, pregnant, Black mother of four children inside her apartment when she menaced them with knives in 2017. The six King County coroner’s inquest jurors unanimously determined that officers Jason Anderson and Steven McNew, who […]
18 hours ago
Yesenia Hernandez, granddaughter to Nicolas Toledo, who was killed during Monday's Highland Park., ...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: Should red-flag law have stopped parade shooting?

CHICAGO (AP) — Days after a rooftop gunman killed seven people at a parade, attention has turned to how the assailant obtained multiple guns and whether the laws on Illinois books could have prevented the Independence Day massacre. Illinois gun laws are generally praised by gun-control advocates as tougher than in most states. But they […]
18 hours ago
Tents are shown Wednesday, July 6, 2022, inside Centennial Park in Anchorage, Alaska. State wildlif...
Associated Press

4 bears killed in Alaska campground reserved for homeless

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska wildlife officials have killed four black bears in a campground recently reserved for people in Anchorage who are homeless after the city’s largest shelter was closed. Employees from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game on Tuesday killed a sow and her two cubs and another adult bear that was […]
18 hours ago
Yesenia Hernandez, granddaughter to Nicolas Toledo, who was killed during Monday's Highland Park., ...
Associated Press

‘Taken too soon’: Remembering Highland Park shooting victims

CHICAGO (AP) — Two of the victims of a July 4 parade massacre in a Chicago suburb left behind a 2-year-old son. Another was staying with family in Illinois after he was injured in car wreck about two months earlier. For some, it was a tradition. They were avid travelers, members of their synagogue and […]
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
Media execs: Progress in dispute over gov’t data