Monday, March 13, 2006

Let the sunshine in ...

Once in a while the journalist resurfaces. This week is Sunshine Week, a week that encourages open government. This isn't just a journalism issue, though. This is a citizen issue. So what's it all about? From the Web site:

Approaching its 40th birthday, the Freedom of Information Act is looking more than a little worn around the edges. In fact, what it needs is a week of good, solid sunshine, and Sunshine Week 2006, March 12-18, is just the ticket.

The current administration has been characterized by open government observers—both conservatives and liberals—as one of the most secretive in recent history; a stance adopted even before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Sunshine Week is not about journalists, it's not about partisan politics, it's about the public and the importance of protecting and promoting open government. Sunshine Week is not about protecting journalists' rights, it's about the right of all citizens to know what their government is doing—and why.

I recently reread All the President's Men and found it disturbing to see the parallels between the Nixon administration and the current administration, particularly in the attitude of being above the law, an attitude that the ends justify the means. When citizens work to help keep government open, though, egregious abuses can be avoided and our country is healthier.

The Web site more information about open government and Freedom of Information.

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