The IAMCR Law Section and Ethics Working Group are co-sponsoring an IAMCR preconference, Media and Journalists in the Age of Open Government and Transparency, in association with the 2015 conference in Montreal. The pre-conference is in collaboration with and will serve as the 11th edition of the International Congress of Ethics and Communication Law (CIEDI 2015). The conference will take place on 11 July 2015. IAMCR 2015 will take place 12-16 July.
Europe and North America struggle to develop and implement law and policy for transparency, access to information, and good governance. These principles affect the fundamental nature of governments and corporations, but they are difficult to achieve. Corruption (both political and financial), and political system and electoral fraud, make us think that real transparency, for example, is still far away. Traditional governance models may no longer work and legislative processes can lack legitimacy irrespective of the use of more, or more innovative, technologies. At the same time, what we mean by "transparency" is undergoing change, with experiments underway based on the assumption that genuine access to information about government activities must include access to a variety of ways of contextualizing and interpreting the data as well as the data themselves.
Open Government is, of course, all about who holds and can use different kinds of power. Actors in addition to those inside of government, working policy-makers, also play a role in ensuring effective access to information, monitoring adherence to good governance practices, and testing the extent to which there is useful transparency. As members of civil society demand more participation, the activities of those in the media -- particularly journalists -- in facilitating and making use of access to information on behalf of the public ever-more important. In ways that complement communications through which social movements and online political campaigns develop via social networks, journalists have a key role in the relation between Government and Citizens, and in real democratic controls.
The stakes are high. There are risks of social fracture and of paralyzing bipartisanship in many countries. and that is why, in this preconference, we will take on the debate over the present and future of Open Government. We have many topics to reflect upon: political information, Government office, professional ethics, and means to achieve better Transparency. We will examine the progress of electronic government, official websites, political use of social media, and other developments through the lenses of communications law and policy.
Download the call for papers with information about abstract formats and deadlines.