WikiLeaks and its impact on access to public records

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange might not think governments have a right to keep secrets from their citizens, but the reality is that many government documents are not part of the public record. So, where is the line drawn between what the public and journalists have access to and what they don’t? And is that line reasonable?

We’ll ask three distinguished panelists to discuss those questions and others regarding government secrecy and public access at the next lunch meeting of the St. Louis Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

The panelists are:

Dennis Baker, special agent in charge of the FBI St. Louis Division.

Jean Buchanan, Post-Dispatch assistant managing editor/projects.

Alan Howard, St. Louis University School of Law professor and First Amendment expert.

The meeting will be noon Thursday, Feb. 10, at Lucas Park Grille, 1234 Washington Avenue, downtown St. Louis. The cost, including soft drink and tip, is $10 for SPJ members and $12 for other guests.

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