Sunshine Week: Our Commitment to Help Keep Democracy Alive

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This is Sunshine Week, a time when news organizations, civic and watchdog groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools, and other participants shine the light on the importance of having a government that operates in the open, including at the local, state, and national levels. It is a time to remind everyone about “the importance of transparency and access to public records.”

At a time when our society is deeply divided, it is important to remember that in order for this country to function as it should, we need an open government at all levels with politicians who understand that they are supposed to serve to uphold the U.S. Constitution and work for the good of all people. The need for a free and independent press is so critical to our democracy that it is enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution. We all deserve a government we can trust and that operates in the open, not in the shadows.

The media exists to inform the people about what their government is doing – to be the eyes and ears of what is happening and to provide a forum where people on all sides can engage in civilized discussions of important issues. Today, thanks to the collapse of news outlets across the country due to large media companies who abandoned serving the public in the ways the media were intended to be, there are many communities, including in Massachusetts, which have no one monitoring what their local government boards and officials are doing. Government operating in the shadows of secrecy and unaccountability is bad for democracy and bad for those communities. It’s a recipe for corruption and mistrust and takes us on the dangerous path we see ourselves heading down today. 

In this community, The Bedford Citizen exists to give you the news you need to know. Our most important job is to keep you informed about what your local government is doing. That has been the core of our mission since day one. 

The Citizen has come a long way during its 11 years of operation and we are still evolving and growing. We are honored for the privilege to be able to serve you and to help keep the light of knowledge and open government shining.

As a member of the New England Newspaper and Press Association, we join with our fellow journalists this week in reminding you of our commitment to keep you as informed as possible to make sure that our government is serving you.   

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Wayne Braverman is the Managing Editor of The Bedford Citizen. He can be reached at [email protected], or 781-430-8837.

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