New norm: Governing by social media

Screenshot Arizona’s Family

By Dillon Rosenblatt | Arizona Capitol Times

Politicians are laying a new foundation in media relations and operating as if the Fourth Estate no longer exists.  

In Arizona, it’s governing by video press releases, leaving the state without a word for a softball interview, and launching campaigns for the state’s highest office on YouTube.  

It’s become a move out of Gov. Doug Ducey’s playbook that spawned from the Covid pandemic and is being adopted by State Treasurer Kimberly Yee and Arizona Regent and developer Karrin Taylor Robson, two Republican candidates seeking to replace Ducey as governor in 2022.  

For several months, Ducey held no press conferences as Covid raged throughout the state, and he now meets with the media very selectively. In 2021, he has had two press conferences and made himself available for a few questions after events.  

But when it came to signing SB1485, a divisive election bill that could lead to thousands of people being removed from the state’s early voting list, he spoke for three minutes on video to explain his thinking and champion the new law, avoiding questions from the press.   

On May 26, he left Arizona to attend a Republican Governor’s Association conference and did not alert the press corps.  

It’s a new strategy, and it’s catching on.  

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