Letting ‘sunshine’ in: It’s tricky, but we’re trying our best
We are in the midst of Sunshine Week.
No, we don’t mean the weather, though the sunshine these past few days has been nice.
The sunshine, in this case, is a journalistic term that refers to letting the daylight in your news.
That translates into the truth, as close as we can get to it, in what you read in this newspaper.
How do we get there?
Well, we are the helicopter parents over information that eventually becomes the news.
We track down the public records of the government agencies your tax dollars pay for.
We investigate and illuminate based on those records.
In Pennsylvania, the laws regarding the public’s right to know were embarrassingly outdated until the past decade.
Changes have been made to improve leverage of the news industry – and by extension – you.
More changes need to be made.
It’s still too difficult and too costly to obtain public records that public officials don’t want us – or you – to have.
Think of anything you have ever wanted to know about the government operation next door and it probably involves a public record.
So, imperfect as the system is, we are getting there.
Of course, we have an obligation to you that comes with being the gatekeeper of information. That obligation is to be fair in our reporting, thorough with our information and objective in our delivery.
There have been too many instances on the national level in recent years that give rise to some cynicism about those principles being followed.
That does not help the profession of journalism or the quest for even more sunshine in the news-gathering process.
We can tell you the fair-thorough-objective format is followed religiously in our newsroom.
You can disagree with opinions expressed here or be alarmed by information in a story, but you don’t have to worry whether the intent was anything but pure.
And that intent was simply to inform in the best ways we know how.
Let the sunshine in.