[A2k] Invitation from Nicholas Lemann, Columbia Journalism School

Susan Radmer ser51 at columbia.edu
Wed Jan 9 13:20:08 PST 2013

I am writing to invite you to a one-day working meeting on freedom of
information legislation, to be held in connection with the opening of
Columbia University's new Global Center in Rio de Janeiro, on March 19,


Columbia has recently opened a series of Global Centers all over the world;
the one in Rio de Janeiro is the eighth, and the second in South America.
The centers are freestanding offices that undertake cross-disciplinary
research projects, with participation from Columbia faculty and students and
from people in the country where the center is located.  I am the dean of
Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism, and we are one of several schools
at Columbia that will be conducting events during the week of the center's
opening.  Together these are meant to demonstrate the broad range of
activities that could take place at the center.


Brazil passed a freedom of information law last year, and there seems to be
renewed interest in freedom of information globally.  This is partly because
of the spread of political democracy, and partly because the Internet has
made information flows so much freer.  We would like to gather a small group
of distinguished people from all over the world who have been leaders in the
effort to spread freedom of information, joined by a few faculty members
from Columbia Journalism School who have special expertise in this area, to
spend most of a day discussing the current state of affairs and what might
come next.  How is implementation of the law going, in Brazil and in other
countries where such laws are relatively new?  Which nations might make up
the next wave to institute freedom of information legislation, and what
might be done to speed that process along?  Are journalists and other
stakeholders taking advantage of these laws, where they exist, as much as
they should, and if not what would change that?  We are especially
interested in the idea of getting beyond request-based freedom of
information laws, into systems where substantial government information is
always available online to anyone who wants it.  Is there a new legal and
operational model for freedom of information, in other words?


I hope you can make time to come to this meeting.  Columbia will pay your
travel expenses.  To respond, and to get more information on
travel/logistics, please contact Kyle Krause, Assistant Director, University
Programs and Events, at kk2775 at columbia.edu or 212-851-7405.  Thanks for
thinking about this, and I look forward to seeing you soon.




Nicholas Lemann

Dean and Henry R. Luce Professor of Journalism

Columbia Journalism School


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