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Thursday, April 16, 2009

NFOIC announces 2009 summit

The National Freedom of Information Coalition and the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information bring you the 2009 FOI Summit from Minneapolis, Minnesota, on June 5 - 6.

Access to information is protected and expanded by a vibrant FOI community at all levels.

The FOI Summit helps promote that, and your participation is vital.

Join us for lunch at noon on Friday, June 5, at the Minneapolis Marriott City Center as we launch the conference with opening remarks from Richard J. H. Varn, director of the Coalition for Sensible Public Records Access and the chief information officer for the City of San Antonio. Following that is the return of the ever-popular FOI Salon, which includes a moderated discussion of what's going on in all of the states.

Saturday, we'll have panels on FOI & Infrastructure, Financial Transparency, and FOI as Civics Education.

For our keynote address Saturday, we're proud to present Paul Anger, vice president and editor of the Detroit Free Press. Mr. Anger has nearly 40 years’ experience as a reporter and editor.

The Free Press, you'll remember, played a key part in the controversy surrounding the former Mayor of Detroit, his firing of whistleblowers, and the text messages that exposed his lies under oath. The existence and implementation of the Michigan Freedom of Information Act was a key factor in the media’s ability to help the public learn the truth.

Scheduled panelists include:

Paul Anger, Vice President/Editor, Detroit Free Press
Richard J. H. Varn, Director, Coalition for Sensible Public Records Access
Rebecca Otto, Auditor, State of Minnesota
James R. Nobles, Legislative Auditor, State of Minnesota
Jane E. Kirtley, Silha Professor of Media Ethics and Law, University of Minnesota School of Journalism & Mass Communication
Patrice McDermott, Director, OpenTheGovernment.org
Joel Kramer, CEO and Editor, MinnPost
James Schiffer, Reporter and Editor, StarTribune

Scheduled panels include:

Coalition Sustainability — How do you keep that fledgling FOI group going, or take the next step?

FOI and Infrastructure — The Minneapolis I-35W Bridge collapse placed laser-like focus on infrastructure issues, not only in Minnesota, but all over the country. A panel of experts will gather to discuss the use of FOI to inform the public about infrastructure issues.

FOI as Civics Education — Freedom of information is a core democratic value, and one that should be celebrated in classrooms coast to coast. The NFOIC welcomes a panel of education and civics experts to discuss the national renaissance in civics and how FOI can play a leading role.

Financial Transparency — At the same time that some in our government are making efforts to increase transparency with online tracking, others are refusing to divulge the specifics of who’s getting what. Meanwhile, folks in the FOI community are doing our best—with reporting, blogging, and special projects—to follow the money. Join us for the lowdown on government spending and fiscal accountability.

Contact: Charles Davis, Executive Director, National Freedom of Information Coalition
Phone (573) 882-5736
E-mail daviscn@missouri.edu

More here on how to register early and save on rates for the conference and lodging.

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