Madison Quote

On page 29, Boyle used a quote from James Madison in noting that publicly
available information is an important check on governmental activity. It's
a quote that is widely used to argue for access to government information.

"A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of
acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or perhaps both.
Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: and a people who mean to be their
own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."
                -- Letter from James Madison to W.T. Barry, Aug. 4, 1822

I wanted to point out, however, that Madison wasn't talking about
"information" in the way we think of it. See "Madison Misinterpreted:
Historical Presentism Skews Scholarship" by Paul H. Gates Jr. and Bill
Chamberlin (American Journalism, Winter 1996, 38).

They explain that Madison was arguing for widespread public education, not
access to government information. Which is too bad, of course, because it's
a great quote.

*       Joey Senat                                          *
*       Doctoral Student                                    *
*       School of Journalism & Mass Communication           *
*       University of North Carolina @ Chapel Hill          *
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