A public organization is, by definition, an organization where all information is to be kept completely available to the public, unless very exceptional circumstances can be proved. Democratic governments are public organizations.
A private citizen has, by definition, the right to keep all information private unless very exceptional circumstances can be proved.
Freedom of the press is essential in a democracy because the press has a duty to provide true investigative, transparent, and unbiased journalism on the topics that the public truly does need to know to make self governing decisions. Without this true journalism, democracy is impossible. This freedom is in no way essential to entertainment or propaganda news that do not provide this service. It is absolutely essential to organizations which provide raw data and facts.
Bits of Orwellian doublespeak and misinformation to beware of:
Any information showing a government doing anything wrong may cause ill feeling towards that government. This may endanger the government. Therefore, all negative information must be suppressed in the name of national security.
The public has a right to know what is going on in public organizations. Instead of the media publishing what the organizations are doing, they will publish details of the private lives of private members of the organization. You will not be shown what presidents say in meetings, you will instead be shown what their daughters wore to
The private lives of private citizens in the entertainment industry are mislabelled as public information on public individuals and used to fill the media and convince the public that the media are providing the information they have a right to know.
The private lives of private citizens and organizations are completely open to the military industrial complex. If this is ever questioned, phrases like “national security”, “child pornography”, or “piracy” are usually used to justify any privacy invasion.
This article was originally published on the GeorgieBC Blog at https://georgiebc.wordpress.com/2010/09/13/transparency-privacy-and-democracy/ published by Heather Marsh