Sunshine Week 2010
Ten Key Freedom of Information Resources for Environmental Journalists:
In honor of Sunshine Week, which began March 14, the WatchDog serves up a meaty list of essential resources for journalists working to expose governmental secrets voters and taxpayers have a right to know about.
March 19, 2010
SEJ Urges Congress to Pass "Faster FOIA" Bill
SEJ wrote Congressional leaders expressing support for the bipartisan "Faster FOIA" bill introduced this week. The bill (S 3111) would establish an advisory panel to examine agency backlogs in processing FOIA requests — and make recommendations for faster processing and reduced backlogs. It was introduced by Sens. Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT) and John Cornyn (R-TX).
- Text of March 15, 2010, SEJ Letter on S 3111.
- Leahy-Cornyn Release of March 15, 2010.
- Text of "Faster FOIA" Bill.
Online and in Print
"Obama Admin Pounds Chest About Transparency — But Will Have To Do Better Than This," InvestigateWest, March 16, 2010, by Robert McClure.
"'Open Government' Only When Convenient, and Not on Toxic Coal Ash," Ash Sunstein blog, March 11, 2010, by "Ash Sunstein."
"The Citizen Journalist's Guide to Open Government," Knight Citizen News Network, accessed March 15, 2010.
"EPA Report: Streams Near Mining Toxic," Charleston Gazette, March 15, 2010, by Ken Ward Jr. Environmental groups use FOIA to get unreleased stream sampling data.
"Sunshine and Shadows: The NSA FOIA Audit," National Security Archive, March 15, 2010. Federal agencies under the Obama administration get mixed reviews on promised openness.
"Senators Commemorate Sunshine Week with FOIA Bill," Quicklink, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, March 15, 2010.
"An Obama Secret: They're Rejecting More FOI Requests Than Those Secretive Bush Folks," Top of the Ticket blog (Los Angeles Times), March 16, 2010, by Andrew Malcolm.
"Obama Deputy: Transparency a Priority, But Takes Time," First Amendment Center, March 15, 2010, by Gene Policinski.
"Audit: Agencies Lag in Following Obama's Openness Order," Associated Press, March 15, 2010, by Michael J. Sniffen.
"James Madison Award Winners Push for Public Right To Know," First Amendment Center, March 15, 2010.
"AP Analysis of Obama FOIA Record at a Glance," Associated Press, March 16, 2010.
"Obama Agencies Invoking Secrecy Provision More Often Than Under Bush" Raw Story, March 16, 2010, by John Byrne.