Editorial: Let the sun shine in
Feel distrustful of government -- like you're not getting told the whole story? Join the club. According to a new survey by Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University, three quarters of American adults view the federal government as secretiv...
Feel distrustful of government -- like you're not getting told the whole story?
Join the club. According to a new survey by Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University, three quarters of American adults view the federal government as secretive. Additionally, nearly nine in 10 believe it's important to know presidential and congressional candidates' positions on open government when making their voting choices.
Want more? Half of respondents said government at the state level is secretive, while 44 percent viewed it as open. Those who see local government as secretive also rose from 34 percent in 2007 to 40 percent in this new survey.
Of course, it should be noted that it's almost natural to possess a distrust of government. From the Watergate scandal of the Richard Nixon years to the various controversies that encompassed Bill Clinton's presidency -- and now, the recent fall from grace of New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer -- it's easy to feel that we're not getting told the whole story.
That's where newspapers come in. It's their job -- whether it's the Daily Globe or a small community weekly -- to be a trusted, objective source of information. It's their job to keep a measure of the pulse of their coverage areas -- reporting the successes, the failures and, yes, the stories that some are sometimes too eager to hide.
The aforementioned survey, which included 1,012 adults, was commissioned by the American Society of Newspaper Editors for Sunshine Week, a national initiative that encourages discussions about the importance of freedom of information. We at the Globe aim to do our part to continuously spark this discussion, for the benefit of our readers and the communities we serve.