This July 4th, we want to remind our community that freedom of information is part of the cherished public right to know and that it is endangered. The ability of public servants to speak out is being muzzled by nondisclosure agreements that in many cases are illegal or at least unenforceable.

During the past year, SABEW’s First Amendment Committee has been increasingly concerned about efforts to censor the voices of employees at government institutions, businesses and the nonprofit sector.

Last year, SABEW signed on to a letter from two dozen journalism organizations calling on the White House to allow federal employees to speak with members of the media – as is their constitutional right.

On June 16, the Freedom of Information Committee of the Society of Professional Journalists addressed this issue in a letter to the New York Times. SABEW supports this effort and collaborates with SPJ on FOIA and First Amendment related issues. We will keep our members informed about future developments