Editorial: Why We Need an Open Government

If the NSA spying scandal last year exposed anything besides how controversial the parameters of “national security” are, it’s that our government isn’t as transparent as we thought. Even President Obama said he didn’t know that the U.S. Department of Defense intelligence agency was monitoring the cellphone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel for as long as 10 years.

The lack of transparency is worrisome because an open government is important—especially in a country that touts its democratic features as much as the U.S. does. A democracy relies on the equal participation of all citizens. So, therefore, an informed public is essential to a well-functioning democracy. “We can only participate effectively in our democracy if we have the information we need to make informed choices that affect us,” according to an article in The Australian.

An informed public is a public that is aware of how the government works and what decisions elected officials are making. The media are an important liaison between the government and the citizenry because they serve this purpose of informing. Continue>>>