On August 12, 2013, five journalists and public affairs officers participated in a panel discussion before the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to debate whether federal public-affairs offices hinder more than help the cause of open government.
The panel was moderated by John M. Donnelly, chairman of the NPC Press Freedom Committee and a senior writer with CQ Roll Call, and the group included:
- Tony Fratto - managing partner at Hamilton Place Strategies, a strategic communications and crisis management consultancy; an on-air contributor on the CNBC Business News Network; formerly deputy assistant to President George W. Bush and principal deputy press secretary
- John Verrico - president-elect of the National Association of Government Communicators
- Linda Petersen - managing editor, The Valley Journals of Salt Lake; freedom of information chair for the Society of Professional Journalists; and president of the Utah Foundation for Open Government
- Carolyn Carlson - former AP reporter; assistant professor of communication at Kennesaw State University near Atlanta; and author of two surveys on the relationship between public affairs staff and the press
- Kathryn Foxhall – a freelance reporter who has extensively researched the issue.
This blog includes some opening statements and other information.