When President Barack Obama stepped into office in January 2009 and immediately called for a more transparent, participatory government, freedom of information advocates were thrilled by the positive memorandum. However, more than a year and a half later, advocates are contemplating whether Obama’s FOI policies have been as far-reaching as he made them seem.
It’s no secret that newsroom demographics are changing. Older, more seasoned journalists are being replaced with dewy-eyed newbies out of college. As younger journalists are being added to the newsroom, they are bringing crucial multimedia skills and accepting meager pay. This may seem like the package deal to struggling media outlets, but many young reporters nowadays are starting out with a lack of solid freedom of information knowledge.
When computer-assisted reporter Burt Hubbard compared Colorado cities with 2000 census data, he found that the resort town of Breckenridge was home to the highest percentage of men in the state. A team traveled there to report the story. The photographer hit a goldmine: A couple was sitting together at a bar, kissing, while a lone male sat beside them with a forlorn look on his face.
Icelander Smári McCarthy is a man who doesn’t know what his title should be on his business cards. Not only is he a writer, software developer and hacker, but he is a dedicated freedom fighter. With his help, Iceland now has the potential to become a world leader in protecting freedom of information.
Brian Schwaner was at home asleep when the phone rang at 3 a.m. The Associated Press Atlanta regional desk was keeping tabs on breaking news, and they were informed in a very “cryptic” Coast Guard message that there had been an explosion on a Gulf of Mexico oil rig.
Portions of this article appeared in [b]a June 17 SPJ Works blog post. Richard Roth delivered his hometown morning newspaper, the Evansville Courier, every day when he was in sixth grade. When he got home, his father would already be awake.