Newtown News of Interest
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Truth. Facts. Transparency. It's What Open Government is All About. Know Your Rights

Truth. Facts. Transparency. It's What Open Government is All About. Know Your Rights | Newtown News of Interest |

Truth. Facts. Transparency. Simple words that shine even more brightly as we celebrate Sunshine Week. This appropriately named week, organized 13 years ago by The American Society of Newspaper Editors and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, helps all of us realize the importance of what freedom of information truly means.


Information belongs in the hands of the people, and officials of government should never shield the public from this constitutional right. Making informed decisions and reporting real news starts with receiving the information that we are all entitled to, and this circle can only be completed when government entities comply.


The Sunshine Act and Right to Know Law are Pennsylvania’s primary public access laws. These laws guarantee the public’s right to access government information at public meetings and through public records. Public access to meetings and records is fundamental to the public’s ability to understand government actions and hold government officials accountable.


On behalf of newspapers across the state, The Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association is working with the Legislature to remove the unnecessary barriers that continue to block Pennsylvanians’ access to basic information from government. We are also advocating for public agencies to record executive sessions, for requiring agencies to provide agendas in advance of meetings — so the public can attend and participate in issues that matter to them, and for keeping Public Notices in newspapers so you know what’s going on in your community, and have a chance to participate in a decision before it happens. Newspapers’ watchdog role makes them ideally suited to ensure that public notices are kept in safe hands.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Citizens from across the country are now gearing up for this year’s Sunshine Week (March 11-17) to once again spark a nationwide discussion about the critical importance of access to public information. To participate in this “event,” I decided to host a PA Right-to-Know Law Quiz. If you have not yet taken my quiz, you may be interested in taking it now. It takes less than 1 minute and no personal information is collected. Click here to take the quiz.


I also created the “Improve Communications for Better Government” Facebook Group. Anyone can join and participate in discussions and suggest ideas for how Newtown Township and other local municipalities can keep citizens better informed of the issues and decisions made by their elected officials.

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Newtown News of Interest
These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources that may be of interest to Newtown area residents. Please click on the "From" link to access the full original article. Any opinions and "insights" appended to these article summaries are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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