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The importance of access to information is clearer when the right to freedom of expression is considered more narrowly. Suppose that our concern is with expression on a specific subject: for example, about government’s effectiveness in executing a policy. In some cases, government agencies may be informational monopolists: that is, they may have exclusive control over critical information required for intelligence discussion of the policy. If no right of access is recognized, the right to free expression is hollowed out. Citizens will have the right to say what they think, but what they think will not count for much, precisely because it is known to be grossly uninformed. A more sensible approach would be to treat government monopolists just as we treat private media monopolists, by curbing their monopoly power so that we may promote free expression.

* Alasdair Roberts, “Structural Pluralism and the Right to Know”