Sunshine Week daily news roundup - Wednesday March 18
Today's Sunshine Week news includes a Salisbury Post look at closed sessions, a WRAL story on how to obtain military records, a pair of Q&A sessions with N.C. Open Government Coalition director Jonathan Jones and StarNews Executive Editor Pam Sander explaining the importance of records requests to the newspaper.
Today's Sunshine Week coverage kicks off with a Salisbury Post report on closed sessions in its area. The newspaper found that two towns - China Grove and Faith - don't keep records of closed session meetings, despite the Open Meetings Law's instruction that such records must be kept, while some of the larger government agencies regularly review and release closed session minutes.
WRAL has an informative report on how to obtain military records - your own or those of a relative - as well as awards. The report provides links to forms at the National Archives and explains what information the military will need in order to provide the records. Read about it here.
The Daily Tar Heel published a Q&A-style interview with N.C. Open Government Coalition director Jonathan Jones about Sunshine Week here.
WUNC-TV broadcast an interview last night with Jones about the coalition and Sunshine Week on the stations' News Now program. You can watch it here. The interview starts at about the 14 minute mark.
StarNews Executive Editor Pam Sander explains the importance of the open records law to preparing news stories and gives insight into her paper's decisions about when to pay large fees or pursue lawsuits to gain access to information.
The News & Observer writes that long delays and excessive fees are a slap to the face of the public and are tactics to hide information.
The Winston-Salem Journal argues that from the White House, to the State Department, to North Carolina State Government, to the city of Winston-Salem, failures to provide access inhibit the function of a democracy.