Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Newspaper Society FOI Survey

Details from UK Press Gazette, will post more details when I get them:

"A culture of official secrecy is entrenched throughout Britain?s public services, claim regional newspaper editors. According to the initial findings of a survey carried out by the Newspaper Society, official bodies routinely use data protection as an excuse to withhold information and hide behind press officers. Courts make unnecessary reporting restrictions and there is scepticism about the ability of public authorities to comply with the Freedom of Information Act when it comes into force next year. Editors have also reported secrecy issues surrounding new-style council cabinets. Mike Glover, editor of the Westmorland Gazette, said: The culture of secrecy and anonymity is rampant. The real problem for the media is that the public at large is sympathetic with this tide. All the debate is driven by high-profile national examples of intrusion. The public at large doesn?t understand the impact that secrecy and privacy have on their community newspapers. The Newspaper Society press freedom survey concludes on May 9. The full findings are expected to be released later in the year"

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