Sunshine week focuses on newspapers

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sunshine Week begins March 14. A national initiative to open a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information, Sunshine Week is led by the American Society of News Editors. Participants include print, broadcast and online news media and others interested in the public’s right to know.

It isn’t just news organizations’ responsibility to protect Americans’ access to public information.

Local elected officials play a role by holding their staffs accountable for responding to information requests thoroughly and on time.

The public also plays a role in maintaining its free access to information. If you’re denied access to public information, or shut out from a meeting that should be public, you must speak out. Tell your elected officials, write your local newspaper editor and contact the state Attorney General’s office. If your elected officials don’t protect your rights, elect some who will. Make transparency an issue each time you go to the polls.

Another way to participate is by subscribing to L’Observateur. The paper can’t protect your rights without your help. Yes, much of the content is available online, but freedom isn’t free. Your hard-earned dollars will be well spent.