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The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Jack Landau, FOI Warrior

It's hard to put into words the impact of Jack Landau on press freedom and freedom of information in the United States, but the Post did a nice job:

Jack Landau, 74, a founder of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, died Aug. 9 of complications from emphysema at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington County. He was a longtime Falls Church resident.

The committee, a Washington-based legal defense and research center for reporters, was created in 1970, when the nation's news media were facing an increasing number of government subpoenas demanding that reporters name confidential sources.

A group of journalists, including Benjamin C. Bradlee of The Washington Post, Mike Wallace of CBS and Tom Wicker of the New York Times, gathered at Georgetown University to discuss the need to provide legal assistance. They formed a committee that initially operated part time.

Mr. Landau, a reporter-lawyer covering the U.S. Supreme Court for Newhouse News Service, was an early member of the steering committee. In his spare time, he also started the First Amendment Hotline, the first free legal guidance service for journalists involved in First Amendment and freedom-of-information issues.

More here.

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