11 March 2007

Sunshine week, transparent government, the First Amendment and NHSBA's free speech clampdown.

Cross-post: NH Indy Media, Telegraph forums. As some of you may be aware, I am never far from my roots as a reporter and former AAG, which is precisely why I timed my request for advisory First Amendment opinion for Sunshine week. Again, as noted in this letter and related blawg entry, I requested the NH AG opinion because the New Hampshire School Boards Association actually has a recommended policy that forbids open comment from the public during school board meetings. Whoa. So what is Sunshine Week, you ask?

In short, it is an historically symbolic week coordinated by the American Society of Newspaper editors in which reporters all over the U.S. come together to hold government accountable; make it open and transparent. The primary focus is on hazardous materials and emergency disaster plans, but the thrust of the issue goes into all matter of governmental policies that involve open communication and freedom of information. In Nashua, the Telegraph (always out in front on these issues, I might add) wrote these compelling stories (1/2) in today's paper.

Bloggers are coming up in the World, as noted in this Washington Post story, and I'm glad to know that my teams at KingCast.net and Justiceforkids.net were the first to put actual courtroom footage on line -- from my own First Amendment court cases, no less. Note the quote from Dennis Ryerson at the IndyStar. Dennis was my boss for a while just before I went to law school. Now I help change First Amendment law and policy, and that's something I always wanted to do with that law degree.

Related post: Thanks, Mother Ann.


Anonymous said...


I hope that she responds in some way, shape or form.

Christopher King said...

Thanks, Melissa.

I've always picked my battles with care, and the beauty of the Internet is that now people can actually see that.

Just today my boss was discussing the beauty of the Internet with me, and I was discussing this matter with a lawyer and a jazz drummer at lunch, and they got it, totally.

Now let's get that beer and I may have a referral case for you.

Hit me up at 603.438.8017m



Anonymous said...

The internet is beautiful, in its own way.