Mood: Fastidiously ludic
Yes, I know I skipped a week or two. I overslept.
This week’s hero is an organization, the National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC). In a government run by the governed, as ours is supposed to be, information is vital. The NFOIC , a loose affiliation of state organizations, helps citizens get the information we need to oversee our government responsibly. The NFOIC website provides an electronic newsletter, The FOI ADVOCATE; a listserv; a blog; links to federal and state resources; and white papers and reports.
Also worth a look is the Freedom of Information Center at the University of Missouri-Columbia’s School of Journalism, though it doesn’t seem to be actively maintained. The headlines in the “Current News Highlights” are from 2005.
Mood: Ebulliently apropos
In an attempt to prod myself into blogging at least once a week, I’m instituting a new feature. Each week, I’ll bring to your attention one person who, in my opinion, deserves respect and possibly aid or support.
This week’s hero is imprisoned U.S. journalist Josh Wolf. He’s broken the record for the longest detention of a journalist, at 170+ days and counting. His crime: returning to turn over video footage of a tussle between anarchists and police in San Francisco.
I have to admit, I’m ambivalent about his withholding the footage, suspect though the government’s motives are in requesting it. What’s of more matter, though, is the government’s tack: they claim he’s not entitled to the protections due to journalists, because he is “a journalist only in his own imagination.” As Mr. Wolf says, if the state is in the business of certifying journalists, how far are we from state-sponsored journalism? (I should note that Mr. Wolf has won journalism awards.)
There’s an interview with Josh Wolf on Democracy Now. His own site is at www.joshwolf.net.
Bonus heroes: Molly Ivins, The Dixie Chicks