Indiana’s Republican Governor Mike Pence announced that he is planning to launch a taxpayer-funded, state-run news service in late February, the Indiana Star reported.
The news outlet, called “Just IN,” will, at times “break news — publishing information ahead of any news other outlet,” according to a question-and-answer sheet distributed to communications directors for state agencies, the Star reported. “Strategies for determining how and when to give priority to such ‘exclusive’ coverage remain under discussion.”
Basically, Just IN will publish stories and news releases from the state’s press secretaries.
While the total cost for the Indiana taxpayers footing the bill for Pence’s website is still undetermined, the service has “two dedicated employees, whose combined salary is $100,000.”
Just IN is being somewhat marketed towards smaller newspapers with a limited staff, but not all of these newspapers are excited about the service.
“I think it’s a ludicrous idea,” publisher of the Portland Commercial Review Jack Ronald told the Star. “I have no problem with public information services … But the notion of elected officials presenting material that will inevitably have a pro-administration point of view is antithetical to the idea of an independent press.”
In the shadow of states like Texas, people seem to forget that Indiana is one of the most conservative states in the country. It just isn’t as flashy about its right-wing policies as the Lone Star state. Letting a conservative government control the news is a terrible idea. Look at the damage Fox News has done to America.
Even though Just IN isn’t nearly the juggernaut Fox News is and will serve Hoosiers only, the same effect can be expected.