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Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Echo: Access to Information

In my yesterday’s Echo I argued that rumour can be defined as an unofficial interesting story or piece of news that might be true or invented, and quickly spreads from one person to another.
I concluded the article by emphasizing the importance of recognizing the rumour and dealing with it especially in the official circles especially that the modern countries have specialized anti-rumours administrations, so it is high time for our government to reconsider its stances towards rumours and establish an anti-rumours administration.
The government announced that 25 March will be celebrated annually as the national day of information.
This leads us to an important issue with is the access to information.
Access to information act should be endorsed by the parliament to provide that right of access to information under the control of the government institution.
 The government information should be available to the public, but with necessary exceptions to the right of access that should be limited and specific and that decisions on the disclosure of government information should be reviewed independently of government.
It is true in some countries – like Sudan – the access to information is a very complicated issue any actual information finds its way on the air only in political conflicts or revenges.
With the absence of information the rumour finds its fertile land to grow to fill the vacuum of that absence.
If the government wants to fight destructive rumours it should provide the actual information considering that there are specialized individuals who can mobilize cadres to pump rumours to the social media outlets.
There should be no sensitivity in access to information provided that it does not affect the national security.