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Friday, September 13, 2013

The Media-Government Revolving Door

In our text and on the blog, we discuss two kinds of "revolving doors," one between government and interest groups, and the other between the media and politics.  Two new items discuss the latter.

Time managing editor Rick Stengel (pictured above) is leaving journalism to go work for the State Department, making him at least the 21st reporter to go to work for the Obama administration. Stengel will be the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Politico and Capital New York report. The last high-profile journalist to leave Time for the Obama administration is Jay Carney, who is currently White House press secretary.
The revolving door also revolves in state capitals, as Katy Grimes writes at CalWatchdog:
In California’s capitol, I have counted more than 40 former news reporters, television reporters and radio newscasters who now work inside the state Capitol, or for a state agency.

The most recent defection from the Capitol press corps is Steve Harmon, former news reporter for the Contra Costa Times. Harmon was recently hired as the communications director for Assemblywoman Nora Campos, D-San Jose, Speaker pro Tempore of the Assembly.

But Harmon is not alone. There are at least 30 other former reporters who have recently worked or still work inside the Capitol.
The California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes a department created by Sen. President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, and staffed with former news reporters and investigative journalists.

Nancy Vogel, covered state government as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. She also worked at The Sacramento Bee, “covering various issues, including water policy, from 1990 to 2000.” Then Vogel took a job with the Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes as a principal consultant. Her colleagues at the Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes were John Hill, formerly a reporter with The Sacramento Bee, and Mark Arax, a former reporter for the Los Angeles Times.

Vogel now works for the Department of Water Resources as the Director of Public Affairs.

Philip J. Trounstine, a former San Jose Mercury News reporter, was hired by Democratic Gov. Gray Davis as communications director, then went back to journalism as co-publisher and co-editor of political blog

Kate Folmar was a Capitol Bureau reporter for the San Jose Mercury News and the MediaNews Group newspaper company, then was hired as U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer’s press secretary. Folmar next worked as the political communications coordinator for the California Democratic Party, and served as spokeswoman for Secretary of State Debra Bowen, a Democrat.