Freedom of Information Day is an annual celebration observed on March 16. Information is wealth, and as a citizen of a nation, anyone has the right to know. Freedom of information means that the general public has got the right to the data held by the national governments. Thus, it is a legal process in which the citizen may request for the government-held information to be received freely or at a minimal cost, barring standard exceptions. Right to know wouldn’t have come into existence without the work of several personalities on the respected nations. James Madison is one among them who is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being instrumental in the drafting of the United States Constitution. He is also regarded as the key champion and author of the United States Bill of Rights. Freedom of Information Day celebrates and recognizes a valuable concept in American rights.
“Information sharing should not be impeded because of excessive classification rules… we must work to extinguish the belief that those who collect information own it.” – William P. Crowell,
History of Freedom of Information Day
The Freedom of Information Day is established by Jim Bohannon, a nationally syndicated radio talk show host of the Westwood 1 stations. There isn’t any mention of the year from when on this Da has been in celebration. However, the observance coincides with the birthday of James Madison, the fourth President of the United States who was born on March 16, 1751. He is honored as the “Father of the Constitution” for his pivotal role in drafting and promoting the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Thus this Day is celebrated in sanctification to that very concept, with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) which was passed on July 4th, 1966, and coming into effect a year from that date. The date is precisely chosen as to James Madison, the freedom of information and individual rights were a significant thing. Thus this Day is a yearly reminder of the importance of transparency in the American government and the public’s right to information.
Freedom of Information Act declared that every person has the right to get the information to the federal agency documents that aren’t defended by one of the nine exemptions, or the particular law enforcement record exclusions. The act has opened up a wealth of information to American citizens. Thus James Madison had held it and guaranteed that the citizens of the United States were able to get that information to which they were entitled. Freedom of Information is an extension of freedom of speech which is a fundamental human right that is recognized in international law. It is today understood more generally as freedom of expression in any medium including oral, written, print, through the Internet, or the art forms.
Other Celebrations on March 16
March 16 is also celebrated as
How to Celebrate the day
Celebrating the day is quite simple. It is the perfect time to get to know about the rights and freedoms afforded by the Freedom of Information Act. You can take advantage of your freedoms and know the information from the government sectors. Organize an event to let people around your region know about the rights they have and make them realize the importance of learning their rights. Share your knowledge about the freedom of information with others when they are in need of assistance when dealing with the freedom of information. Share your views on social media using the hashtag #FreedomOfInformationDay.
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