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Indiana governor scraps plan for state-run news agency

Indiana governor backpedals, scrapping plan to start a state-run news portal

After a wave of criticism over his administration's plan to create a government news agency that would feed pre-written stories to local media, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said Thursday that he will scrap the idea.

Pence has been under fire since Monday, when the Indianapolis Star obtained documents that described how the proposed news portal, dubbed Just IN, would function.

"At times, Just IN will break news — publishing information ahead of any other news outlet. Strategies for determining how and when to give priority to such 'exclusive' coverage remain under discussion," read some of the documents, according to the Star.

Pence, a Republican who took office in 2012, has since distanced himself from the plan. On Thursday he formally announced his decision to dismiss the program in a memo issued to the heads of all Indiana state agencies.

"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 Just IN website immediately," Pence wrote.

In the memo, Pence said the motivation behind Just IN had been to corral news releases from all state agencies onto one website, granting journalists more immediate access to government statements rather than having them scour individual state websites for information.

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