“The province’s [Alberta’s] move [draft freedom of information policy] was widely criticized by journalists and opposition parties at the time, who said the change would undermine the exclusivity of documents they often spend great amounts of time and money working to obtain.
Exclusive stories or “scoops” are highly valuable to reporters, activists and opposition members, said Sean Holman, a professor of journalism at Mount Royal University.
“People with a private interest to hold government to account — whether it be reporters, activists or opposition politicians — do so because it’s not just in the public interest, but also because they’re able to get something out of that,” he said.
“So, if you put that information out there to everyone, it ruins the scoop and decreases the incentive to file a freedom of information request. Rightly or wrongly, this is how accountability works in a democratic society.”…”