|(March 11, 2019) -- This week, LBREPORT.com joins the American Society of News Editors and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in observing "Sunshine Week" [ASNE's website text] to focus "attention on public information, open government and journalismís role in promoting transparency." We're not a member of either group but we think Sunshine Week is very worthwhile, especially in the current political atmosphere.
Sunshine Week is an annual national event scheduled to coincide with the birthday of James Madison, America's 4th president, who stressed the importance of including checks and balances in America's constitution. He wrote the 1st Amendment explicitly giving the press the ability to independently exercise that check and balance on those holding government power.
In that capacity, independence obviously matters. Roughly 200 years after Madison, the then-Executive Editor of the NY Times, Abe Rosenthal, explained why to one of his reporters who wrote accurate stories but had become close (horizontally) with a politician. He famously fired her with the words (roughly paraphrased): "I don't care if my reporters sleep with elephants, but I don't want them covering the circus."
LBREPORT.com isn't part of City Hall's circus. We're not owned, operated, edited or written by a member of a City Hall Commission, Committee or Task Force and we don't have outside business interests that depend on negotiations, approvals or other actions by those on whom we report. For nearly 19 years, we've seen LB Mayors and Councilmembers come and go and sometimes we annoy them, most times not because what we report isn't true but because it is.
For Sunshine Week, we share with you the types of things we encounter in trying to shine a light in some LB areas where (to borrow a phrase) the sun never shines.
It's sometimes lonely standing outside the circus tent, but to us it's better than letting ringmasters hand us a shovel following the elephants.
Happy Sunshine Week...and thank you for reading and supporting independent news on LBREPORT.com.
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