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Originally published: 2013-03-22 10:04:18
Last modified: 2013-03-22 10:04:18

Sunshine Week education: We've got an App for that

In anticipation of Sunshine Week -- the weeklong initiative beginning today to educate the public about the importance of an open and transparent government -- Charles Hill wrote the following, and many other good things, for Michigan Coalition for Open Government: "It's your government. And it's your money paying for it. You deserve to know how that money is being spent and whether waste, fraud, corruption, conflicts of interest or just bad decision-making is getting the way of the results you expect for your money."

Hill is right. Citizens have the right to demand accountability of their government -- at every level.

But while serious charges such as corruption, fraud and conflict of interest certainly have a role in prohibiting the press from pursing that accountability, more often what members of the media encounter in that pursuit is simple ignorance of the law concerning the public's right to know what our government officials are doing.

Education trumps and dissolves ignorance every time, and public officials, members of the media and the public in general have the opportunity for such schooling on April 5 in Boone.

On that day, Carolina Public Press is offering on the Appalachian State University campus a "Full Disclosure" workshop that will feature presentations about what records are considered public according to state and federal law, and other insights into other challenges to public records law. The workshop will be led by trainers including the N.C. Press Associations general counsel and top editors at Carolina Public Press.

We encourage all who are interested in an open government to attend this session -- and we especially encourage to attend our own local elected and public officials whose work forms the basis of our public records. Visit http://www.carolinapublicpress.org for details.