Knight Center
Knight Center

JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

President Obama receives transparency award behind closed doors



US President Barack Obama was honored Monday with a transparency award, and ironically, the press was not invited, according to the Washington Post. Politico's headline said it best: "Shh! Obama gets anti-secrecy award."

The award, given as part of the national transparency Sunshine Week, was meant to recognize Obama's general commitment to make government more open, and as positive reinforcement to encourage him to do more, the Huffington Post said.

“It’s almost a theater of the absurd to have an award on transparency that isn’t transparent,” said Gary Bass, founder of OMB Watch, as quoted in the Washington Post.

In March, Sunlight Foundation executive director Ellen Miller criticized the Obama administration for failing to "deliver on transparency," according to The Hill. Still, Obama is the first president to make public the log of White House visitors, Politico said.

The transparency award was given two weeks later than expected, as the White House postponed the first event, according to the International Business Times and CBS News.

See more from Obama about transparency in this video.

And the Daily Show's Jon Stewart mocked the (un)transparency award, highlighting that Obama has prosecuted more whistleblowers than any other administration:



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