Fayetteville Observer: It's dark - This state earns public-records access
From the Fayetteville Observer (7/29/12): Government of the people, by the people and for the people is too often kept secret from the people.
It's not supposed to be that way. But for all the reform in sunshine laws we've had in recent years, we're often reminded that we still have a long way to go.
We got that reminder last week when an advocacy project, the State Integrity Investigation, released a state-by-state report card on open-records laws.
Most states flunked. The project, a joint venture of two nonprofits - The Center for Public Integrity and Global Integrity - and Public Radio International, gave North Carolina an F grade and ranked it 43rd in the nation for public access to information.
This state does have a comprehensive public-records law. It works well in municipalities that choose to follow it. But many don't. That's where it falls apart, because aside from taking an expensive trip to a courtroom, there's no easy way to appeal a rejected information request.