By Michael S. Williamson, The Washington PostThe Department of Education has launched a program that allows employees to share and report on classified documents on the public record and on Twitter.
In an announcement on Monday, the department’s public information office announced the new program, which it calls the Office of Public Integrity.
The announcement said the office will partner with the University of Chicago Press and the Center for Investigative Reporting, both of which have previously launched such programs.
“It’s a way for us to get to know you better, to see if you’re a really reliable source and if you have some information we can share with you,” said Andrew Zimbalist, director of the Office for the Public Integrity and an associate professor of journalism at The University of California, Berkeley, where he directs the school’s journalism program.
“We’ve had a number of folks on Twitter who have been very open about sharing information that could potentially be potentially damaging to the administration, so it’s a very useful way for people to share information,” he said.
“It’s like a Twitter account for public information.
The idea is to allow people to report on it.”
In addition to sharing information, the office said its Twitter account allows employees who are assigned to the public information offices to follow the president and other officials.
It also said the Twitter account also lets employees report on other government officials and their families.
A spokesman for the department, David J. Cohen, said the public info office will continue to have a robust public information presence, but that the office was not yet looking to use Twitter to do any kind of public relations work.
“There is a great deal of public information out there, and we want to make sure that all of the people who report it are also reporting on it,” Cohen said in an email.
“That’s one of the reasons we are working with universities and other public information organizations to create an Office for Public Integrity.”