INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is ditching plans for his Just IN website after he was accused of trying to start his own state-run news agency.
Pence issued a memo Thursday saying that the project is no longer moving forward after concerns were expressed by politicians and members of the media.
"From the outset of this administration you have heard me emphasize the importance of integrity and accountability to the public, and I am grateful for the manner that each of you has worked to serve the people of Indiana with transparency and a servant's heart," he wrote.
"The original intent of this project was to make press releases more readily available in a one-stop website for the convenience of the press and the public," he said.
He the purpose of Just IN was to relieve the public of having to visit multiple department websites to get news releases.
The Republican governor came under fire Tuesday after The Indianapolis Star -- based on state documents -- reported Pence planned to start Just IN in February. The site would have been overseen by former Star reporter Bill McCleery and would include feature stories and news releases written by state press secretaries.
Christy Denault, communications director for Pence, in a press briefing Wednesday said staff used incorrect terminology to describe the nature of Just IN. She said documents describing "stories" written by staffers are actually press releases.
The project drew comparisons of Pence to the leaders of other governments that make use of state-run media outlets, like Vladimir Putin in Russia and Kim Jong Un in North Korea.
Now Pence says he plans to nix Just IN.
"Therefore, rather than developing a new website, I have instructed the office of information technology update the current public calendar website to ensure that the press and the public have unfiltered and convenient access to all press releases and public meeting notices," in one place, Pence wrote in his memo Thursday. "The updated calendar will be fully automated and designed to post all press releases and public meeting notices in real time."