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President of AP says the government is undermining ‘right to know’ laws

Gary Pruitt, President and CEO of the Associated Press expressed concern with the difficulty of obtaining public records. In a press release, he said government authorities are undermining laws and making it increasingly difficult for the press to hold officials accountable.

Here is an excerpt:

It’s getting harder and more expensive to use public records to hold government officials accountable. Authorities are undermining the laws that are supposed to guarantee citizens’ right to information, turning the right to know into just plain “no.”

Associated Press journalists filed hundreds of requests for government files last year, simply trying to use the rights granted under state open records laws and the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. What we discovered reaffirmed what we have seen all too frequently in recent years: the systems created to give citizens information about their government are badly broken and getting worse all the time.

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