An editorial from The Register-Herald
BECKLEY, W.Va. — This week marks the celebration of “Sunshine Week.”
And, no, this is not a sarcastic reference to our recent weather.
Rather, it is a reminder of our freedoms, and the right to transparent, responsible government to which all citizens in our republic are entitled.
It isn’t always easy to keep governments responsible and above-board, from our local governments to the federal government. And while we think we play our part in making sure citizens in southern West Virginia are kept fully informed about governmental activity, this is a crucial issue not just for the media, but for everybody.
Freedom of Information laws can be used to open windows into government action that some bureaucrats and officials would like to keep closed.
This is not an indictment of our public officials but rather an acknowledgment of human nature. Open and transparent government can, at times, make the jobs of our public servants more complicated, and we understand that. But in the long run, we think openness in government makes it more responsive to those of us it serves, and better for citizen and official alike.
Federal and state Freedom of Information laws are not just for the media, but for all citizens. To us, that makes protecting these laws and the rights granted to all Americans worth not just mentioning but celebrating.
What do these laws do for us?
For one, they can be used to spotlight how money influences politics, where that money goes, and to whom it is going and from where it came…