Happy birthday to us – and a shout-out to some of Colorado’s original freedom-of-information fighters. Thirty years ago, on Aug. 3, 1987, 24 representatives of various news and public-interest organizations gathered at the Denver Press Club to create a state Freedom of Information Council, the entity now known as the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition.
What’s “fake news” and what’s not? You might forgive the public for not knowing the difference these days, given how often that term is tossed about. Because media literacy is an issue both nationally and locally, it was the ideal topic for a Sunshine Week panel called “Getting to the truth in an age of alternative facts.”
Responsible and democracy-loving public officials should reserve the “fake news” label exclusively for the type of garbage for which it was created and has come to be understood: complete and utter fabrications that have no basis in fact, and no legitimate sources to support the published allegations.
Will 2016 be remembered as the year we realized just how much our democracy depends on an informed citizenry? The fake news epidemic was one of many issues the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition highlighted in 2016 or wrote about on its blog.
Jeff Roberts, executive director of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, discussed the fake news phenomenon with 9NEWS investigative reporter Jeremy Jojola.
Journalists must “double down on the public trust” and governments must “release their stranglehold on information about the public’s business,” former Denver Post Editor Greg Moore said, accepting an award from the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition.
The Society of Professional Journalists’ Colorado chapter honored Jeff Roberts, executive director of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, with its 2016 First Amendment award. Roberts also won a first-place award for blogging in SPJ’s four-state “Top of the Rockies” contest, which honors journalists in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
While the Colorado legislature has dismissed several attempts to regulate unmanned aerial systems (UAS) statewide, some local jurisdictions have tackled drone issues related to privacy, public safety and wildlife protection.
The private emails flap was one of many transparency-related stories we highlighted in 2015 or broke ourselves.
Registration is open for the 2015 national FOI Summit, to be held at the Curtis Hotel in Denver on Oct. 9-10.