Consumers learned in late July of a "voluntary" recall of some processed food products due to possible metal fragments in sugar used to make them. The source of the contaminated sugar remains unknown, because federal law protects "trade secrets" — putting protection of companies above protection of the public. Image: © Clipart.com.
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Journalists are sometimes competitive — and even secretive about the exclusive "scoops" they may be working on, lest their competitors beat them to publication. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press is conducting a survey to get journalists' opinions on the Obama admin's proposed release-to-one-release-to-all policy.
Transparency is at the core of an escalating confrontation between House Republicans and some state Attorney Generals over Exxon's support for climate change denial. The AGs in July defied a subpoena from the House Science Committee, chaired by Lamar Smith (R-TX, pictured).
Peabody, the documents show, funded at least two dozen groups that sowed doubt about whether climate change is caused by human emissions and that opposed regulating climate emissions. Most of that funding had been kept secret until now.
"Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation" are legal bullying, using the resources of well-heeled business or political groups to harass smaller citizens' groups or (sometimes) news media who can barely afford lawyers. Now some are calling for a federal law to counter them.
When a government official sends work-related emails over a private or personal email account, the emails are not necessarily exempt from the Freedom of Information Act, a federal appeals court ruled July 5, 2016.
Just in time for the 50th anniversary of the original Freedom of Information Act, President Obama June 30, 2016, signed into law a package of amendments to strengthen it. The bill codifies the "presumption of openness."
Overall goals of the new draft plan are to make all government data and information open by default and to eliminate all fees except for an initial $5 filing fee. The Canadian government invites comments on the plan before June 30, 2016.Region:
Journalism may finally be ready to stride into the brave new techno-world of drone reporting now that the Federal Aviation Administration has issued a regulation removing the previous cloud of illegality and uncertainty. It's just the beginning.
FOIA reform: it's all over but the shouting — and the implementation. The package of amendments to FOIA features codification of the "presumption of openness," would establish a single online federal portal for FOIA requests and strengthen the role of the Office of Government Information Services. Image: Clipart.com.