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Freedom of Information

The News the Media Use

Shannon Martin E.

The Freedom of Information Act was signed into law during the last half of the twentieth century to ensure public access to government documents. In this book, Shannon E. Martin details the history that led to the law’s enactment and the resulting discoveries in government repositories over the past fifty years. In light of the ongoing national security war on terror, this is a timely and historical overview of the accessibility of government-held information.
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Social Media and Participatory Democracy

Public Notice and the World Wide Web

Shannon Martin E.

Public notices are usually provided in the form of a document when something is about to be done or recently has been done by government. For about two hundred years these notices have often taken the form of legal notices placed as classified ads in newspapers.
With the onset of social media, government as well as personal information can be accessed at a push of a button for all to see. This book addresses the kinds of changes that public notice and published public records have experienced as governments around the world try to accommodate the digital formats for information and World Wide Web publishing, as well as presenting historical and legal underpinnings for the broader claim of a public requirement to be informed about government.
While there is concern that government information on the web will fall pray to pranks and misuse, the author argues that it is possible to reduce this risk by looking carefully at the intent of public notice and the history of democratic evolution. The book concludes with recommendations for smoothing the transition from a paper-based world of records to an environment of speed and virtual portability.