Do commercial products we have body contact with contain toxic chemicals? In too many cases, states and environmentalists are saying, the federal government forbids consumers from knowing.
- SEJ Publication Types:Region:Visibility:
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.
Many story leads are tucked away in this 196-page report: recession impacts from drops in extraction and consumption, increases in importation of key materials, insights on stories related to climate change and air pollution, and much more.Topics on the Beat:
The site offers some improvements over poring through the Federal Register, but it's not comprehensive, topics are too broad, and there's poor differentiation between topics and constituencies. On the plus side, visitors can comment on in-process regulations, get alerts about specific regulations, attend online public meetings, and sort in-process regs.
The site includes news, studies, reports, fact sheets, data, predictions, educational tools, an events calendar, and images. The agency says it will adapt the site in response to comments, so feel free to provide feedback.
SEJ wrote White House Communication Director Dan Pfeiffer asking for an end to the practice of requiring permission from the press office at federal agencies before reporters can talk to federal employees — and requiring Saddam-style PIO "minders" to sit in on interviews.
Jim Morris of the Sunlight Foundation reports on the Project on Government Oversight's (POGO) so-far unsuccessful efforts to FOIA the data.Topics on the Beat:
John Wonderlich of the Sunlight Foundation has been tracking the Federal Communications Commission plan.
Various trackers are sorting through and compiling ideas, comments, and agencies' progress towards meeting the deadline.
A former Occupational Safety and Health Administration official requested the data under the Freedom of Information Act in 2005, but was denied. He sued, won in 2007, and now has the data, but OSHA has still not released the data to the public.