Before There Were NASA Socials: NASAWatch @17

Keith's note: A note for all of the "citizen journalists" , NASA Social participants, etc. Today is the 17th anniversary of the debut of NASA Watch (then known as NASA RIF Watch) online. There is a long road - one traveled by others before you to where you will be - and it started more than 10 years ago, before "blogging" was even a word, when there were no Tweetups, and the first "citizen" journalists dared to claim that they were legitimate media and demanded access to their government. As such, for those of us who helped pave the way (inside and outside of NASA), do us proud. Don't waste the opportunities as they continue to be made available. Be useful. The late Brian Welch would find this all to be rather fascinating. You see, back in the day, he had his hands full just dealing with only me ...

Letter from the NASA Inspector General to Rep. James Sensenbrenner, 4 February 2000. Topic: NASA Watch's application for press accreditation. Note: by this point NASA "RIF" Watch had been online for more than 3 years.

"The editor of NASA Watch has twice applied for press accreditation from NASA and was rejected both times. The first application was a verbal request to NASA Headquarters PAO for credentials to attend the launch of the Mars Pathfinder spacecraft in June 1997. That request was verbally rejected on the grounds that NASA Watch was not legitimate press but rather was closer to a "vanity press." The editor of NASA Watch again applied (via email) for press credentials to NASA Headquarters PAO in July 1999 (see Appendix B) and was again rejected (see Appendix C) on the grounds that NASA Watch did not meet the PAO's new policy for press accreditation (see Appendix D). NASA has no formal process for appealing rejection of press credentials."

Rogue Webmasters, Government Executive, October 1996

"Donald Teague, president of the NASA Headquarters Professional Association, says the RIF Watch site provides invaluable information. "You have to turn it on each morning to see what's going on," he says. A committee of headquarters employees nominated Cowing for an agency award for running the RIF Watch site. But NASA Associate Administrator for Headquarters Operations Michael Christensen, rejected the idea. "The tone of the page is unacceptable," says Christensen. "None of us dispute his right to run the Web site. My own personal decision was that it would be inappropriate to honor him for it."

  • submit to reddit


Join our mailing list

Monthly Archives

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on April 1, 2013 11:02 AM.

NASA To Unveil The Space Goose was the previous entry in this blog.

Today's Interesting Space Activities on Twitter is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.