Is a Free Press at Risk Without a Well Functioning Freedom of Information Act?
Free press is an American right based on the First Amendment. This program focuses on this first amendment right and explores the question of whether or not free press is at risk.
Joining host, Dennis McCuistion, are:
- Elizabeth O. Colton, PhD: CEO, Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations, Emmy Award winning journalist
- Miles Moffeit: Dallas Morning News‘ Investigative reporter
- Paul Watler: Attorney, Jackson Walker LLC, Board Member, Freedom of Information Foundation
Elizabeth speaking with audience members after the taping.
What is the Freedom of Information Act‘s (FOIA), role in keeping government honest? Is there a risk to our free press if FOIA is not fulfilling its mandate? FOIA “allows” journalists to access critical information. Many investigations by the Press would not be possible without FOIA.
Freedom of Information Act is a law that gives citizens the right to access information from the federal government. It is often described as a law that keeps citizens in the know about their federal government.
The premise of FOIA is that people have the right to know about the affairs of government without government determination on what they think expedient for citizens to know or not know. It allows for oversight over the activities of government and serves to reduce government corruption. The Freedom of Information Act empowers citizen control over their government.
Any individual can exercise his/her right to access information by filing a Freedom of Information Act request for the specific data needed. If a request is denied, the individual requesting the data can appeal and sue to enforce the request.
The Texas Public Information Act works in the same way, giving Citizen’s the right to know what their governors are doing in their name, and oversight over the instruments of government. With these critical Acts citizen’s can find out about fraud, arrests, and obtain information that state open records acts do not allow for. Yet both FOIA and TPIA have frustrating delays and challenges.
What difference does the Freedom of Information Act make to a working democracy? How does it help (or hurt) a free press get what they need to tell the public “the truth”?
Tune in to hear what the experts, who are involved in these issues on a day-to-day basis, have to say…
As always we continue talking about things that matter… with people who care.
Niki N. McCuistion
Aligning Purpose, Performance and People
Corporate Culture Change Consultant and Problem Solver
04.20.14 – 2121