This week, news organizations across North Carolina are talking about Sunshine Week. And while you might be hopeful it's a sign summer is around the corner, this has nothing to do with the weather. But like the weather, it affects us all.
Sunshine refers to open government…a free flow of information about decisions being made. It also refers to how easily accessible public records are to the news media and the general public.
You may have never tried to get public information from our government before, but the folks in our newsroom can tell you that you have to educate yourself if you want to succeed. They can tell you from personal experience that government organizations don't always understand the law or choose to interpret it accurately.
So if you are looking for something that you believe to be public record, the best thing for you to do is understand the law and then stand firm.
You'll most likely run into two types of obstacles, those that don't know the law and those that think they know how to game the system.
It would be nice if our public sector leaders would put a little more effort toward educating themselves and their people on the right way to handle public records requests. That could be a welcome ray of sunshine for all of us.
That's my turn. Now it's your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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