Watts defends new media policy

A lot of people, including a media law attorney and a journalism professor, have responded in a negative way to a proposed new media policy announced by Logan Mayor Randy Watts last week. The mayor attempted to set the record straight Monday night on KVNU’s For the People program (full video of the Watts interview is available below). Watts talked about the proposed new policy which would require the media to submit questions in writing in order to get information from city employees. Watts said nothing about the policy is in writing yet and the policy is only in the testing process. “My intent with this is not to slow down you, the media, to make sure that the citizens are informed on all issues,” Watts told KVNU’s Tyler Riggs Monday night. “But pertinent issues, I’m slowing that down enough to make sure we represent those questions properly and correctly.” Watts said in no way is he trying to put a curtain or a screen on information the media receives but only wanting to make sure the media goes through the chain of command. Watts admits that he was unprepared for what he calls a “firestorm” created all the way across the Wasatch Front with his new media policy. Watts says the policy is actually still being formulated and it won’t change the way the city does business, but will make sure information presented to the media is accurate. “Some people immediately thought the only way they were going to be able to talk to the mayor of this town was in written whatever, a written question with a written response back,” Watts said. “And that was never the intent of this. Like we said earlier, emergency operations, emergencies happen you’re going to have our immediate attention. You’re going to hear from us ASAP.” Some people have said Watts has over-reacted to the way the media reports on city issues at times and that he needs to be more thick-skinned. Watts countered by saying he does not consider himself a politician but a businessman. Watch the full interview with Logan Mayor Randy Watts here:

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