Thursday, March 03, 2005

FOI Tips

A newsletter in today from the Society of Professional Journalists has some interesting research information on freedom of information.

Based on research commissioned by Open The Government (of which SPJ is a partner), here are some of the findings, as quoted from the SPJ newsletter:
  • Bashing President Bush doesn't work. Bashing faceless bureaucrats who hide information does.
  • People said they are most afraid of terrorists. One-third of respondents said it doesn't matter what the government does or doesn't do because their religious faith would keep them safe.
  • Respondents said the media are too liberal and out of step with mainstream views. They fault their local newspapers for not doing enough investigative reporting.
  • Respondents said national security means their children are safe. They are more concerned about local threats than international ones.
  • Respondents don't care about government information when it involves threats they can do nothing about. But they want the right to know if they can make a decision to control their surroundings.
This is useful stuff for journalists looking to make the case for more open government -- and needing to know how to make it.


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