Information is fundamental to make informed decisions. Information is also power Where it’s not freely accessible, corruption can thrive and basic rights might not be realised. People can hide corrupt acts behind a veil of secrecy. Those with privileged access to information can demand bribes from others also seeking it. People entitled to health or education may be denied these basic services due to lack of access to information about their rights. Governments can hide their actions by controlling or censoring the media. This prevents the facts being reported. The truth is gagged.
When our right to know is denied, we can’t hold decision makers or institutions to account for their actions. Nor can we make informed choices when we vote.
If information isn’t public, we can’t enjoy many of our rights, such as participating fully in political life. We might not even understand our rights in certain circumstances. When access to information is blocked, we can never know what’s really going on. The solution?