Barry Johnson, former head of news distribution at the Government News Network, has joined the Press Association as commercial development manager for PA Mediapoint, the wire and web service that gives information to journalists. He previously worked for the Government for 15 years at both the GNN, formerly the Central Office of Information, and Oftel. As head of news distribution, he oversaw the modernisation of systems used to deliver press releases. Johnson said: “PA’s role at the heart of the media industry places it in an ideal position to improve the flow of information between the PR industry and the media. I am looking forward to using my technical background and experience as a client to improve and expand PA services to the media.” PA Mediapoint sends out 2,000 text stories every month and a more advanced service is planned for launch in the summer. Additions to the service include improved streaming of content by topic and region and a searchable archive of material.