A House panel this morning encouraged the Labor Department to abandon its announced changes to the way it releases unemployment data and other market-moving statistics. Media groups protested almost immediately when the Labor Department announced on April 10th that it would force media groups to rip out equipment from the labor Department’s press room and require reporters to draft stories on government computers as part of wholesale changes intended to prevent early leaks of jobless claims and other economically significant information.
Scientists who study the sun note the massive solar flare hitting earth on March 8 is part of the sun’s natural cycle, however we’re pretty certain it’s celebrating Sunshine Week, which starts on Sunday, March 11. Started by the American Society of News Editors and now coordinated jointly between ASNE and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (both SGI members), Sunshine Week is a celebration encouraging greater public appreciation of open government. Government transparency is an essential value for democracy, but perhaps more importantly it plays a more practical role ensuring our leaders are doing what they say [More]
Sunshine Week, the annual celebration of open government, will be held March 11-17, 2012. The week coincides with the birthday of James Madison (March 16th). Initiated and sponsored for years by the American Society of News Editors, this year Sunshine Week is a collaboration between ASNE and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. In the past, journalists have conducted audits of FOI laws, policymakers write opinion pieces, editorial cartoonists contribute works for broad distribution, interest groups sponsor programs, and Congress holds a hearing or two to push bills or take stock of where we are with government transparency.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper talks a lot about transparency. He focused on transparency troubles while covering the gulf oil spill. Watching the Chilean mine rescue unfold, on October 12th Cooper noted that the Chilean government’s rescue operations have been more transparent than similar responses to mining disasters in the U.S. If the way the Labor Department ignored the FOIA mediator’s office is any gauge, he may have a point.