In honor of Sunshine Week the Sunlight Foundation has created Back to the Source: REDACTED in which they take original investigative articles and manually black out all the information that would not be known without existing transparency measures. It is worth taking a look at just how little we would know with the Freedom of Information Act and other public disclosure laws.
- Back to the Source REDACTED: The Impact of Disclosure on Public News & Knowledge, by Melanie Buck, Sunlight Foundation (March 14, 2012).
While journalistic skill and technique are essential for writing a good investigative article, we often take it for granted that journalists have access to the information they need to write complex news stories. Without publicly available data, much of our news would not be possible. We’ve been looking at investigative articles as part of an ongoing series called “Back to the Source” for the last several months. Now we’ve decided to amp it up a bit and make redacted visuals to explicitly demonstrate how little the public would know without laws and regulations that force the government to make the data it has publicly available.