Thanks to a mistake, the Boston media got to learn what their competition is working on.
A junior employee in the state’s Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development accidentally blasted out the office’s internal list of more than two dozen pending stories from several news organizations. Problem was, instead of emailing the list internally, the staffer sent it to the press by mistake.
There was an inquiry from the Boston Herald about massage parlor licenses, and one from the Boston Globe about homeless data. The Lowell Sun contacted the bureaucracy about housing authority executive directors, according to the list, and WBUR about transgender health services. The list detailed a WBZ-TV reporter accompanying state investigators and the Revere Journal posing some questions.
So how did all that internal information become public?
Paul McMorrow, director of policy and communications at the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, said the wrong list was pasted into the send box of the email. Simply, he said, “it was a mistake.”
Asked how many reporters the email went out to, McMorrow paused briefly and then replied: “All of them.”
McMorrow, himself a former reporter, said it is no secret that officials keep each other apprised of media inquiries but “it’s just not standard practice to send them to your press distribution list instead of your internal distribution list.”
Twenty-four minutes after the initial e-mail message, the same coordinator and accidental press penpal sent out another blast at 5:28 p.m: “[The employee] would like to recall the message ...”
And then one more at 5:53 p.m.: “Please disregard the previous email – it was sent in error. My sincere apologies.”
Too bad the staffer wasn't using Gmail.
H/T Boston Globe