As International Right to Know day is celebrated around the world on Sept. 28, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press takes this opportunity to note the importance of preserving — and for some nations, acquiring — the right to access government information and attend government meetings is crucial to any participatory democracy.
Open government organizations praised what they called sweeping commitments to promote government transparency and accountability in an action plan released by President Obama last week, but many said they were cautious in their optimism that the pledge alone would be enough to bring historical change to the culture of secrecy in Washington.
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press today published the 6th Edition of its Open Government Guide, a comprehensive overview of open records and open meetings laws in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that requiring elected officials to recuse themselves from governance votes on issues where they have a conflict of interest does not violate First Amendment free speech rights, endorsing a position put forth in a friend-of-the-court brief by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
Utah's governor called for the repeal and replacement of a controversial open government law Monday, saying that signing it “resulted in a loss of public confidence,” yet some open government advocates said it was simply a political move.
Despite the Obama administration’s directive that agencies presume openness unless the law mandates otherwise, there have been more lawsuits against the government for failing to release federal records during the first year of this administration than during previous years under the Bush administration, The Washington Postreported.