Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Happy Sunshine Week

SunshineSunshine in government is the engine that makes journalism possible, and especially the "citizen journalism" that some people like to crow about.

This week is the annual Sunshine Week, a time to push your government to open up. The Kansas legislature dropped both bills that would have opened up the government. One would make probable cause affidavits public, the other would have required that executive sessions be recorded in case a challenge was brought to the propriety of the session. The Eagle's blog explains the background.

Whether it's the work RSR did tracing the money behind the conservative Board of Ed members, or my look at the funding behind Phill Kline's last race, Knight Ridder's unearthing Congressman Ryun's taxpayer leased car, or the revelation that the government was secretly tapping Americans' phones without warrants (whether in 2005 or 1973), sunshine consistently shows itself to be a valuable part of the process of governing.

This is a good week to contact your local, state and federal officials and express your interest in open government.