250 Symposium: Right to Know

To mark the 250th anniversary of the 1766 Freedom of Information Act, the University of Helsinki hosts a symposium to discuss the meaning and realization of citizens’ information rights, transparency and openness in contemporary public life.

The Nordic countries are often seen as pioneers in government openness, not only in terms of historical legacy but also contemporary policies, such as open data initiatives. The existing norms and practices of publicity, however, are constantly challenged by social and technological changes. With new media platforms and data leaks, but also new global trends towards secrecy, security and surveillance, tensions around citizens’ information rights keep emerging in public. In science policy, promotion of open science and publishing are also crucial issues today. What does “the right to know” mean, where did it come from, and what are its main threats today?

The keynote speaker of the symposium is Professor Michael Schudson (Columbia University), whose most recent book, The Rise of the Right to Know discusses the emergence of norms and practices associated with openness and transparency in American politics and culture after 1945. Other speakers at the symposium discuss both historical and current interpretations of freedom of thought, publicity and transparency from global, European and Finnish perspectives.

The symposium is organized by the discipline of Media and Communication Studies together with the Open University, University of Helsinki. The symposium is part of the lecture courses “Media structures and policies” and “Introduction to Global Media and Communication”. The language of the symposium is English, except for the final panel discussion, which is in Finnish.

See the program and register at: https://helsinginyliopisto.etapahtuma.fi/Default.aspx?tabid=960&id=43872


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