Freedom of Information under attack in EnglandPosted Mar 25 2007
National and regional editors of broadcast and print mediums have allied in universal opposition to information rights minister Catherine Ashton's proposed changes to Great Britain's freedom of information regulations. Sunday Times editor John Witherow, Sunday Telegraph editor Patience Wheatcroft, London Evening Standard managing editor Doug Willis and others met with Ashton to personally lobby against the proposed changes. The proposal would aggregate the number of requests made by any person or organization and severely limit the number of requests allowed. Ashton rejected proposals to exempt journalists from the rule changes because she felt this would be problematic when trying to define who exactly is a journalist. The Department of Constitutional Affairs hopes the restrictions will save the government 10 million pounds by rejecting requests that would cost the government in excess of 600 pounds. A compromise has yet to be reached, and the media has until March 8 to raise any further objections.