FOI DAILY DOSE: WikiLeaks founder wins journalism award, EPA oversight threatened

Julian Assange wins journalism award

WikiLeaks founder and head honcho Julian Assange has won the 2011 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism.

The annual award is presented to a journalist who has “told an unpalatable truth that exposes establishment propaganda.”

The 2011 judges said in their citation for the prize that Assange “represents that which journalists once prided themselves in – he’s brave, determined, independent: a true agent of people not power.”

WikiLeaks has become a point of controversy in discussions of transparency, especially concerning the criminal charges against alleged WikiLeaks whistleblower Bradley Manning.

The six judges voted unanimously for Assange.

House bill jeopardizes EPA oversight

A House bill introduced last week supports the removal of federal oversight from the Clean Water Act.

The Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011 would strip the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of its ability to revise state water quality standards, veto U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredge and fill permits and oppose state-approved permits issued under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System.

The measure was introduced by representatives John Mica (R-FL) and Nick Rahall (D-WV).

Mica, in a press release, said that the EPA “continues to strangle economic growth in this country with its overreaching and arbitrary regulatory regime.”

According to an OMB Watch blog post, however, the agency is following statutory mandates and is not overstepping its bounds.

– Morgan Watkins

Morgan Watkins is SPJ’s summer Pulliam/Kilgore Freedom of Information intern and a University of Florida student. Reach her by email (mwatkins@spj.org) or connect with her on Twitter (@morganwatkins26).

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