FOI laws are important in democracy because they guarantee the 'right to know'. It exists in more than 90 countries and helps to expose corruption and maladministration, and assures transparency in public decision making. But problems persist, with hard-won access to government secrets compromised by 'gaming' of FOI; wide increases in national security exemptions; political interference; and journalists misusing the Act for fishing expeditions and as a source for an easy headline. 10 years after the Freedom of Information Act was introduced in the UK, has it freed journalists to expose the dark secrets of our society or has it just been an excuse for lazy journalism?
Edited by Tom Felle and John Mair
Contributors include Peter Preston, former editor, the Guardian; former BBC correspondent Nicholas Jones; Charles N Davis, University of Georgia, USA; Canadian 'FOI Warrior' Ken Rubin; and the BBC's Martin Rosenbaum.
Ben Worthy, Birkbeck College, University of London; Barry Turner, University of Lincoln; Guy Basnett and Paul McNamara, OpenWorld News; Paul Bradshaw, Birmingham University and City University London; Amanda Geary Pate, University of the West of Scotland; Lynn Wyeth, Leicester City Council; journalist and academic Alan Geere; Paul Francis, Kent Messenger Group; investigative journalist Alice Ross; Tim Crook, Goldsmiths, University of London; Julian Calvert, Glasgow Caledonian University; Colm Murphy, University of Ulster; Brant Houston, University of Illinois, USA; Michael Foley, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland; Dean Jobb, University of Kings College, Canada; Australian lawyer Peter Timmins; David Blackall, University of Wollongong, and Jolyon Sykes, Journalism Education and Research Association, Australia; Greg Treadwell, Auckland University of Technology, and James Hollings, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand; Anusharani Sewchurran, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa; Kiran Prasad, Sri Padmavati Mahila University, India; Sudeepta Pradhan, IFHE Hyperbad, India; Sankaran Ramanthan, Mediaplus Research Consultancy; Yongxi Chen, University of Hong Kong, China; and Bruce Mutsvairo, Northumbria University, Newcastle.