On Friday March 17th in my post "This 'ain't so' Either" on the subject of the so-called "public's right to know" I wrote: " The 'public's right to know' is a quaint idea and probably invented by journalists. It is also a false one."
In today's (March 23rd) Detroit Free Press is an op-ed which supports my post co-authored by Maurice Kelman, a retired constitutional law professor, and Berl Falbaum, a former political reporter who teaches journalism part-time. They start:
"Whenever the media demand answers to their questions, they invariably invoke the 'public's right to know.'
Much was made of this 'right' during Sunshine Week last week, as various media, including the Detroit Free Press, celebrated the Freedom of Information Act and decried most government secrecy.
The slogan, 'the public's right to know'--and it's only a slogan--is generally credited to Kent Cooper, an executive editor at the Associated Press, who used it in a 1934 editorial."
"The 'public's right to know' is now bandied about as if it is some sacrosanct constitutional entitlement embedded in the First Ammendment guarantee of a free press. It is not."
I commend the Free Press for printing that op-ed. Because,
I have decided to do my own version of the Pulitzer Prize awards just before the big day ala the Oscars by Ebert and Roper. I hearby nominate the above mentioned gentlemen for the "Cutting Through the Fog" catagory. Yes, I make up my own catagories.
I have already nominated reporter Lindsey Tanner for the "Proficiency in Statistics" catagory which puts him above 98% of the reporters out there. I also have Becky Wagoner nominated for the "Integrity in Journalism" catagory.
Obviously this will be a modest ceremony but journalists who are doing it right need recognition. I also have a Full-of-itzer Prize which might go to Paul Krugman.
Sometime Monday night my blog went over 1000 visits since December 15th 05. While I'm happy with that, my goal is to keep improving as a blogger/writer.