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Regional journalists urged to help improve government transparency

Josiah Mortimer 2023Regional journalists have been urged to put forward their ideas on how to improve government transparency.

Reporters across the country have been urged to submit evidence as part of the UK National Action Plan for Open Government.

The plan is produced jointly by government and civil society which includes community and faith groups, charities and trade unions, universities and NGOs.

Former MyLondon City Hall editor Josiah Mortimer, who sits on the steering committee of the UK Open Government Network, has urged those working in the regional press to come forward with ideas.

Josiah, pictured, who is now chief reporter at Byline Times, told HTFP: “Thousands of journalists engage with government every day to try and get answers to the issues voters face.

“Every one of us has come across things that makes us think ‘why have they not published that?’ or ‘Why is it so hard to access XYZ?’

“Often it’s not intentional, and is easy to put right.

“We need to bring together all those experiences and get them on the desk of decision-makers. This call for ideas is the start of a push to improve transparency in government to get the information that the public needs to know.

“It feeds directly into the Cabinet Office and I really hope as many reporters add their perspective as possible.

“When journalists can’t access court records, or are stymied in their FoI attempts, or are stonewalled by departments, that’s bad for everyone. Let’s use this chance to get some of the bugbears fixed.”

Submissions can be made here until 7 June.