Trying to get the low down from the horse’s mouth can be as good as impossible when it comes to the government.
Why is it that any journalist who wants to speak to the relevant person in government about proposals or policy must first confront a wall of PR obfuscation? Government offices are manned with armies of PR staff who refuse to deal with queries, claim ignorance of the most mundane issues and would have you believe that all government staff are permanently on holiday.
The title of your publication and the nature of your story are all too important in determining whether your enquiry will receive a response.
Surely this is not the way it should be. Government staff work for us all, and have a public duty to deal with questions about their doings. The preferred method of communication seems to be ‘placed’ copy, to which end government departments appear to employ consultancies with huge budgets. What a waste of taxpayers’ money.