From Iceland — Interior Ministry Blocks Media Access To Staff

Interior Ministry Blocks Media Access To Staff

Published November 13, 2014

The Ministry of the Interior has ordained that its staff cannot converse with reporters and journalists without the Ministry’s public relation manager’s explicit permission.

The P.R. manager is currently on vacation. The media will thus not be able to reach the Ministry’s staff for comment on recent events, claims made by the Minister in that relation, or any other matter, until the public relations manager returns from vacation, expected to happen on Tuesday. This was reported by RÚV.

RÚV’s news reporter called the Ministry this morning and asked for one of the Ministry’s staff members. He was told that in order to speak with the person in question, he would have to apply via email, at the Ministry’s generic address

He was also told that this is a new arrangement. Journalists were now not allowed direct access to Ministerial staff except with the social relation manager’s explicit permission, applied for at every particular occasion individually.

RÚV’s reporter commented critically on the arrangement, according to the report, to no avail.

This comes the day after the Interior Minister’s now former assistant, Gísli Freyr Valdórsson, was found guilty for breach of confidentiality, when he leaked a Ministry document, concerning Tony Omos, seeking asylum in Iceland at the time, to the media. Gísli has admitted that his intention was to influence media coverage.

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