TRAC: Media Making Fewer Challenges to Government Secrecy in Federal Court

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on March 14, 2013

“Federal court records show that Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits challenging government secrecy by news groups have declined, according to an analysis by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). This slump in the number of media suits does not seem to indicate that there is less government secrecy. In fact, the overall number of FOIA suits by individuals and other organizations has increased under the Obama administration. Among the reasons cited for the decline are slashes in newsroom budgets and the development of alternative organizations ferreting out more and more government information that was previously unavailable. Included in the short list of the most active news organizations using the FOIA were the New York Times, the Fox News Network and the Associated Press. Among those who did not file a single suit during the last term of President Bush and the first term of President Obama were USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the Huffington Post. The report also examined usage of FOIA by reporters submitting requests to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) over the last two years.”

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