Saturday, April 23, 2016

So Long, Freedom Of The Press In America.

From the people who run our newsrooms. Due to the overall decline of the news media, there's less money to sue for open records, and governments know it so are denying more open records requests.

And, government is demanding access to reporters' and news organizations' files and "unpublished material." Meanwhile, the Obama Administration has charged more whistleblowers under the Espionage Act than all previous administrations combined.
Kevin Gostola summarizes a survey of news editors conducted by the Knight Foundation for Mint Press News.

Around half of news editors indicated their news organizations were “no longer prepared to go to court to preserve First Amendment freedoms.” Eighty-nine percent indicated this was because defending the First Amendment is too expensive.

Forty-four percent of editors indicated their news organization was less able to go on the offense and sue to open up access to information.

“Newspaper-based (and especially TV-based) companies have tougher budgets and are less willing to spend on lawyers to challenge sunshine and public records violations,” one editor acknowledged.

Another editor declared, “The loss of journalist jobs and publishers’ declining profits means there’s less opportunity to pursue difficult stories and sue for access to information.” The costs of litigation constrain organizations.

“Government agencies are well aware that we do not have the money to fight. More and more, their first response to our records request is, ‘Sue us if you want to get the records,’” one editor stated.

Ironically, Gostola is an independent journalist trying to make it with his own news web site, Shadowproof, and by doing freelance work for people like Mint Press, also a start up internet based news platform. They are the new media and I'm pretty sure neither has the funds to file a Freedom of Information lawsuit.

No comments:

Post a Comment