As the public’s independent eyes and ears on the government, news organizations, can do no less than everything in their power to put a spotlight on these public expenditures. The power to tax and spend is probably government’s most basic one. Watching those, to me, is a news organization’s first order of business. It is Job One.

Freedom of Information Act requests are a commonplace newsgathering tool, and so, for that matter, are lawsuits to force disclosure when the law is violated. The Bloomberg suit is a reasonable, appropriate and measured tactic by a mainstream news organization. And the suit is manifestly in the public interest.

News organizations compete, but from time to time they cooperate on matters of press freedom and transparency. This is one of those times.

The suit is Bloomberg LP v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 08-CV-9595, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

Dean Starkman Dean Starkman runs The Audit, CJR's business section, and is the author of The Watchdog That Didn't Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism (Columbia University Press, January 2014).

Follow Dean on Twitter: @deanstarkman.