FOI and the Delivery of Diminishing Returns, or How Spin-Doctors and Journalists Have Mistreated a Volatile Reform
The Drawing Board: An Australian Review of Public Affairs, Volume 3, Number 2: March 2002, 187-207
22 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2014
Date Written: March 16, 2002
Freedom of Information (FoI), spin-doctors, and journalists offer a volatile mix in Australian politics. Whilst the promise of open government is seen as an essential pre-requisite for a functioning representative democracy the dynamics of FoI seem to offer no easy path to that destination. Australian journalism has tended to undervalue, under use and underestimate the potential of FoI. The increasing involvement of spin-doctors in the day-to-day activities of public administration further hampers the fourth estate role of journalism. Paradoxically it is the resurgence of public service ethics and values that may offer the best way to reform the practice, administration and effectiveness of FoI.
Keywords: FOI, spin doctor, spin-doctor, reform, fourth estate, Freedom of Information
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