Editorial: Shining a light in dark corners

From Santa Fe New Mexican: (Oct 1, 2013) A government that works in the dark is little good for citizens.

That’s why the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government was formed back in 1989. Its purpose is simple: to keep the light shining on the actions of public officials who might prefer to do business behind closed doors.

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Today, the organization celebrates its annual William S. Dixon Awards to honor those who also fight for public access to what should be public information. (The awards are named for a foundation co-founder and advocate.) We at The New Mexican are proud of this year’s Lifetime Achievement winner, our recently retired editor, Rob Dean. As editor and managing editor of the newspaper for two decades, Dean worked to improve access to police reports, advocated for open meetings when officials crept behind closed doors and urged his reporters to hold elected officials accountable by filing records using the Inspection of Public Records Act. It is fitting that his unrelenting support for sunshine on the public’s business is being singled out today.

Honored with the 2013 Journalists Award are The Santa Fe Reporter and online investigative and political reporter Heath Haussamen. The Law Award is going to Patrick Griebel and Jeremy Theoret, attorneys who fought and won the right for the public to know the truth about the death of outlaw Billy the Kid. Dr. William Turner is recipient of the Citizen Award for his work at opening up the operations of the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District to the public.

Visit Santa Fe New Mexican for more.

The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government is a member of NFOIC. –eds