Magazine article Editor & Publisher

On Day One, Obama Overturns Era of White House Secrecy

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

On Day One, Obama Overturns Era of White House Secrecy

Article excerpt

In his first full day in office, President Barack Obama issued a memorandum ordering government agencies to examine Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with a bias toward release of the documents -- overturning eight years of a Bush administration directives to find ways not to disclose information.

"For a long time now there's been too much secrecy in this city," Obama said. "The old rules said that if there was a defensible argument for not disclosing something to the American people, then it should not be disclosed. That era is now over. Starting today, every agency and department should know that this administration stands on the side not of those who seek to withhold information, but those who seek to make it known."

Obama's "Presidential Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government" was immediately hailed by open government advocates, including the Sunshine in Government Initiative, an umbrella of media groups including the American Society of Newspaper Editors, The Associated Press, Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, National Newspaper Association, Newspaper Association of America, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the Society of Professional Journalists.

"It's wonderful that Priority One on Day One for this administration is transparency and restoring public trust," said Rick Blum, the coalition's coordinator. "Yesterday's policy of 'When in doubt, leave it out,' today became, 'When it doubt, let it out.' And this policy will help keep the public informed in our technology-driven, connected society. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.