January 21, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
rblum (at) sunshineingovernment.org
Statement of Rick Blum, Coordinator of the Sunshine in Government Initiative
“It’s wonderful that Priority One on Day One for this administration is transparency and restoring public trust,” said Rick Blum, coordinator of the Sunshine in Government Initiative. President Obama has made strong statements that should have lasting impact on how the government operates. “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. On open government, the dawn is breaking.”
Members of the SGI media coalition include the American Society of Newspaper Editors, The Associated Press, Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, National Association of Broadcasters, National Newspaper Association, Newspaper Association of America, Radio-Television News Directors Association, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and Society of Professional Journalists.
“Today’s announcement is a very strong step in the right direction, and we look forward to working with the President, the Attorney General, the rest of his administration — including the new Office of Government Information Services at the National Archives, which was authorized by Congress but not yet established to help citizens resolve FOIA disputes — to help ensure this commitment is carried out in the letter and spirit in which it was intended.”
The Sunshine in Government Initiative is a coalition of media groups committed to promoting policies that ensure the government is accessible, accountable and open. Public oversight is the ultimate safeguard of democracy. It is the inalienable right of citizens to examine and judge their government; and that right is served when news media act on behalf of the public to gain access to information.