The American public has an inalienable right to exercise beliefs, speak freely, access a free press, and assemble and petition the government. News Media for Open Government is a broad coalition of news media and journalism organizations working to establish, maintain, and strengthen laws and policies that preserve and protect the freedom of the press, a transparent and open government, and the free flow of information in our democratic society.
Through accurate newsgathering and reporting, the news media help the public understand what the government is doing in its name. The coalition works to protect and strengthen newsgathering practices and preserve the interactions between the government and an independent press that is rooted in the First Amendment. We help ensure the public has access to a free, vibrant, and open press, and we are committed to fostering laws, policies, and practices that keep government open, honest, and accountable.
1. An informed public is the cornerstone of our democracy. Open government instills public trust. Policies preserving access to information are essential to our national well-being.
2. Americans depend on news media to inform them about governmental activities and to exercise the right of access to appropriate government information on the public’s behalf.
3. In a democracy, government must function under a presumption of openness, balancing this as necessary with legitimate national security needs and the confidentiality concerns of individual privacy.
4. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) should be preserved and strengthened. Over-classification, unconstrained non-disclosure agreements, and indiscriminate use of “sensitive” designations to withhold information do not serve our nation’s security interests and thwart the public’s right to know.