Suspicion and secrecy: Political attitudes and their relationship to support for freedom of information

David Cuillier, Bruce E. Pinkleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Public attitudes toward government transparency can affect freedom of information policies, laws and even, perhaps, court rulings. Relatively little research, however, has identified factors that explain and predict public support for open government, an essential element of democracy, journalism and freedom of information law and policy. This surveybased study examines how political psychographic factors, such as skepticism, cynicism, apathy, complacency, liberalism and external efficacy relate to support for government transparency in principle. Results from a random-digit-dial telephone survey of Washington state residents (N=416) indicate that skepticism, cynicism and political liberal values predict support for government transparency. Implications discussed include the importance of cynicism and skepticism in political decision-making, as well as the role of critical thinking and the questioning of authority in the development of freedom of information law and policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-254
Number of pages28
JournalCommunication Law and Policy
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Law

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