FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – After details on what was being called a ‘state-run news source’ became public, Indiana Governor Mike Pence has decided to scrap plans for the “Just IN” website.
According to initial reports, memos on the “Just IN” site stated that “Just IN … will function as a news outlet in its own right for thousands of Hoosiers — transparent in functioning as a voice of the State of Indiana’s executive branch.”
What followed was controversy and criticism. The Indiana Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists issued a statement that said the role of journalists and those in government should not be confused. The Indiana Broadcasters Association also detailed its concerns on the site, saying that Pence’s office appeared to be “establishing… a news bureau which would exert governmental control over the news it generates.”
On Thursday, The Pence administration announced that plans to launch the site were terminated:
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
According to the memo, the original intent of the project was to create a one-stop website as a news resource for the press and the public. Pence is now directing the Office of Information Technology to ensure that the current public calendar website, located here, is updated with all press releases and public meeting notices from all 90 state agencies.