Sociologist Michael Schudson on our ‘Right to Know’

“The concept of the right to know has transformed a great deal of American society,” said Michael Schudson, a sociologist who teaches at Columbia Journalism School. “It has made government information more accessible to the press, to the public, even to Congress. Much more broadly it changed how people think about their lives in America.”

His new book, ‘The Rise of the Right to Know,’ published by Harvard University Press, chronicles the history of this cultural and political shift, which took hold from 1945 to 1975, forever embedding an expectation of transparency in our civic DNA.