Two more steps toward a better informed public

Two recent articles in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette indicate progress in the unyielding fight for transparency and for a public with better tools to be more fully informed.

First, in the weekend edition of the Sun-Gazette, two Clinton County women, Donna Kshir and Lee Roberts, are working diligently on making the child abuse registry available to the public.

“They believe opening the central registry will give parents the opportunity to protect their children,” Lexi Howard, who is working with Kshir and Roberts, told the Sun-Gazette.

Their efforts should be commended by all parents and by all readers who care about the safety of the children of our communities. We all should hope their efforts succeed.

Second, an Associated Press article in Monday’s Sun-Gazette examined how newspapers and the media are using “open source” investigations to better inform the public.

The use of publicly available documents and material, such as satellite images, phone and security camera footage and internet tools to add detail and context to important coverage.

The Associated Press article noted the use of open source investigation on coverage of the conflict in Ukraine, the “Arab Spring” protest movement about a decade ago and on coverage of stories closer to home, such as deaths at a Travis Scott concert in 2021 and incidents of excessive police force.

As technology — and the world — continues to evolve, we hope the opportunities for using these tools to more fully tell important stories and to provide the public with information they need continue to present themselves.

Both the use of open source investigations and the efforts of Kshir and Roberts to equip parents and their neighbors with knowledge about the perpetrators of serious crimes are important and positive signs that the opportunities for a better informed public will not be missed.


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