Tuesday, February 28, 2006

GRAMA still a soft spot

As I hope all of you know, the legislator has been debating over several bills that witll restrict public access to public information.

It has been a hot button issue, especially for journalists, realizing we are the primary users of GRAMA (Government Records Access Management Act). But I am proud to say the rumor is the governor is prepared to veto. He understands the necessity of government conducting their business in public. Well done Jon!

Over the course of the last little while, journalists have been stewing about these revisions. Politicians have been stewing about them as well, but for different reasons. They were proposed mostly because of public officials didn’t think public information was meant to be the mining ground for journalists to dig up dirt on the government.

I love it when politician start complaining about this. They start to whine that journalists are so bad news oriented they forget and start to hinder the actions and purposed of government. They say we are more worried about selling our papers than we are about reporting the accomplishments of the legislator. And their solution to the problem is always the same…get rid of the journalists.

I would like to propose a different solution, and a better one I think. If politicians don’t want journalists digging up dirt on them, perhaps they should not get dirty. I think they’ve forgotten what team we are all playing for. Often, what’s good for one is going to be good for the rest of us. After all, we are all on the same team.

If you would like to read more of my opinion on the subject, check out my column tomorrow in the Utah Statesman. Once it comes out, I will try and link it to my post.

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