Blogshine Sunday and Public Access to Gov't Information

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Date: Monday, March 14th, 2005, 00:15
Category: Opinion

On Sunday, March 13, bloggers around the world blogged about the need for access to government information. Read More…


On Sunday, March 13, bloggers around the world blogged about the need for access to government information.

On March 13, news organizations across the United States will participate in “Sunshine Sunday” by running stories and editorials in support of public access to government information. Simultaneously, bloggers throughout the U.S. and beyond will spotlight their own experiences with obtaining access to government documents. This “Blogshine Sunday” has been organized by FreeCulture.org, an international group of student activists, to ensure that government remains accessible to tomorrow’s journalists.
Are bloggers really journalists? While the debate continues to rage, it is indisputable that this grassroots media is already playing an important role in uncovering and disseminating information. Indeed, the very characteristics that set bloggers apart from traditional journalists ? amateur status, a near-fanatical dedication to following particular stories ? are powerful tools for pursuing the kinds of buried malfeasance that open-access laws are meant to uncover. Recent incidents ? the CBS Evening News and “Rathergate” in 2004, Sen. Trent Lott’s comments at Strom Thurmond’s 100th birthday in 2002 ? make it clear: bloggers unearth stories that would otherwise go untold.
Blogshine Sunday is about preserving the right of all citizens, not just credentialed journalists, to observe the workings of their government. Whether local council meetings or federal advisory committees, the activity of public officials should be clear and visible to ordinary people.

The PowerPage supports Blogshine Sunday, copyright reform and freedom of information and encourages you to do the same.

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