Editor's Note

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, May 11, 2008

NFOIC FOI Summit '08 Is In the Books...

What a great time we had in Philly! Some coverage of Ted Gup's excellent keynote address, which we hope to have on the site soon...

Journalists need to do a better job of explaining to readers why they should be concerned about expanding ''secretocracy'' in government and how it directly affects their lives, a former investigative reporter told a coalition of open government and press groups Friday.

''It's our job to try to find ways to help them see what has happened'' and why they should care, said Ted Gup, a former investigative reporter for the Washington Post and correspondent for Time magazine. He defined secretocracy, in part, as ''a form of government where secrecy is a principal interest of governance,'' and called it a function of power, not political party.

Gup compared the level of secrecy that exists in government to global climate change, saying that a government allowed to operate without scrutiny or accountability threatens democracy and disenfranchises citizens.

The more that Americans withdraw from being involved and informed citizens, the easier for a secretocracy to flourish, Gup said. Yet reporters don't do enough to explain how abuses of secrecy can lead to decisions not in citizens' best interests, from war and the economy to the safety of food and drugs, he said in a keynote address to the National Freedom of Information Coalition's annual conference.

More here.

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