WikiLeaks, Obama Openness on National FOI Day Agenda

Mar 09, 2011, 14:44 ET from First Amendment Center

WASHINGTON, March 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The effects of WikiLeaks disclosures of classified data and Obama administration policies on the cause of freedom of information will be top questions at the National Freedom of Information Day Conference, Wednesday, March 16.

The 13th annual conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Knight Conference Center at the Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. To view the agenda click here.

There is no charge to attend, but because of limited space, participants must register individually in advance. To register, e-mail or telephone Ashlie Hampton of the First Amendment Center at, or 202-292-6288. When registering, please provide your name, title, affiliation and contact information.

The keynote speaker will be First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams. In addition to WikiLeaks and Obama administration openness, panelists will discuss how best to classify — and declassify — digital data.

Hosted each year by the First Amendment Center, the conference brings together open-records advocates, government officials, judges, lawyers, librarians, journalists, educators and others to discuss timely issues related to transparency in government and public access to official records.

The program is conducted in partnership with the American Library Association, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, OMB Watch,, and the National Security Archive at George Washington University; and in cooperation with the annual Sunshine Week initiative sponsored by the American Society of News Editors.

The conference includes the announcement by the American Library Association of recipients of its annual James Madison Award. The ALA presents the Madison award to individuals or groups that have championed, protected and promoted public access to government information and the public's right to know.

This year's conference also will feature the induction of one or more nominees into the National Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame, honoring those who have made significant contributions to protecting and expanding access to government information. The Hall was created in 1996 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the federal Freedom of Information Act.

The First Amendment Center supports the First Amendment and builds understanding of its core freedoms through education, information and entertainment. The center is nonpartisan and does not lobby or litigate.

SOURCE First Amendment Center