Knight Center
Knight Center

AUSTIN FORUM

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11th Austin Forum: culture of secrecy, lack of training are the biggest obstacles to transparency in the Americas

The biggest obstacles to transparency in Latin America and the Caribbean are the region’s enduring culture of secrecy, the infrequent use of right-to-information laws and the lack of training on how to use them effectively, according to the journalists and researchers from the continent who gathered on Nov. 8 and 9 at the University of Texas at Austin for the 11th Austin Forum on Journalism in the Americas’ organized by the Knight Center. Read more »


Transparency grows in Brazil but stalls in Argentina, Austin Forum panelists say

Journalists in Argentina are calling for a law that grants them true access to public information and ensures that state agencies comply with information requests, said Juan Carlos Simo, a member of the Argentine Journalist’s Forum (FOPEA), who spoke about transparency in his country during the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas’ 11th Austin Forum, which took place Nov. 8-9 at the University of Texas at Austin. Read more »


In Bolivia, journalists criticize access to information bill; in Peru, transparency law is not used enough

For Bolivian investigative journalist Raúl Peñaranda, a columnist and former director of the independent newspaper Página Siete, access to information in his country is extremely limited.

In August, the Congress of Bolivia approved the first part of a bill on access to public information, which does not have the support of journalists in the country because it's seen as a a threat to freedom of expression and an obstacle to investigative journalism. Read more »


Chile’s transparency law stands out as an investigative tool; in Uruguay, bureaucracy hinders its implementation

Chilean journalist Claudia Urquieta from the online newspaper El Mostrador highlighted the importance of Chile’s transparency law as an investigative tool during the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas’ 11th Austin Forum, which took place on Nov. 8 and 9 at the University of Texas at Austin. Read more »


Transparency laws present professional, institutional challenges in Mexico, Guatemala and Nicaragua

After decades of a culture of virtually impenetrable secrecy within the Mexican government, in 2002 Mexico passed the Federal Access to Information and Personal Data Protection Act. Since then, it has become an often-cited model of how other governments should draft their own transparency laws.

However, during the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas’ 11th Austin Forum, which focused on the topics of transparency and accountability, Mexican journalist and Ibero American University professor Margarita Torres said the law is not perfect and journalists are not using it as much as they could. Read more »


Plenty of work remains to fulfill promise of transparency laws, says National Security Archive’s Tom Blanton

It’s been almost 40 years since Tom Blanton filed his first public information request. Since then, Blanton, the current director of the nonprofit National Security Archive, has become a leading authority in access to information and been directly involved in the release of tens of thousands of documents declassified by the U.S. government. Read more »


Knight Center’s 11th Austin Forum to discuss transparency and public information access in the Americas

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas' 11th Austin Forum kicks off tomorrow. This year, the Forum will focus on access to information and transparency issues in the continent. Read more »


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