Access to public information is essential to journalists. For the last eight years, there has been a concerted effort by the Bush administration to limit access to information about the activities of those running the government. Apparently that will change, which is great thing for the public.
Here is a portion of what President Obama had to say today in his first meeting with his cabinet:
"For a long time now, there's been too much secrecy in this city. The old rules said that if there was a defensible argument for not disclosing something to the American people, then it should not be disclosed. That era is now over. Starting today, every agency and department should know that this administration stands on the side not of those who seek to withhold information but those who seek to make it known.
"To be sure, issues like personal privacy and national security must be treated with the care they demand. But the mere fact that you have the legal power to keep something secret does not mean you should always use it. The Freedom of Information Act is perhaps the most powerful instrument we have for making our government honest and transparent, and of holding it accountable. And I expect members of my administration not simply to live up to the letter but also the spirit of this law."
We shall soon start seeing if federal agencies in Alaska, as well as in Washington, have gotten the spirit and the message.