Open Govt. Group Gets $500K

By: Joe Strupp

A new alliance of top journalism groups formed to fight government secrecy, which claims to represent more than 15,000 members, received a $500,000 grant to launch its efforts, the group announced.

Named the Coalition of Journalists for Open Government, the alliance says it will help coordinate open government activities and speak out together on freedom of information issues.

“Our challenge is to find ways to protect the public’s right to know, even as we are working to protect our nation against terrorist threats,” coalition coordinator Pete Weitzel, former managing editor of The Miami Herald and a founder of Florida’s First Amendment Foundation and the National Freedom of Information Coalition, said in a statement.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation board last month approved a four-year, $500,000 grant for the coalition. “The spectacular increase in official secrecy, constricting citizen access to information on government decision-making, makes the coalition’s work especially important and challenging,” said Hodding Carter III, president and CEO of Knight
Foundation. “To counter the government’s inherent advantages and easy access to public opinion, those who care about open government must work together as never before.”

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