From Dennis Hetzel, executive director of the Ohio Newspaper Association: For numerous reasons that should be obvious to ONA Bulletin readers, we think it is important to find ways to raise the profile of the Ohio Coalition for Open Government, which is a non-profit group under the umbrella of our Ohio Newspapers Foundation.
The OCOG board and ONA Executive Committee members recently held a strategic planning retreat. I hope you share our excitement about some of these goals for the coming 12 months. Please let us know if you would like to be involved in any of these efforts:
Repeat the 2004 statewide, public records audit in 2014. This will be the 10-year anniversary of a project that involved newspapers across Ohio and exposed many problems with how officials interpret Ohio’s public records laws.
Create a presence for OCOG in social media as part of an effort to involve more groups and everyday citizens with an interest in open government. We also will be launching a stand-alone OCOG website in partnership with the National Freedom of Information Coalition. The site will have easily accessible resources on open government in Ohio. (And, yes, we plan to optimize it for mobile.)
Continue our comprehensive, twice-a-year newsletters while adding a bi-monthly e-newsletter roundup to OCOG’s large database of recipients.
Explore creating an annual OCOG internship to support our expanded efforts. We hope to have an OCOG internship program in partnership with Ohio State in 2014 that will include course credit.
Position OCOG to provide information and context to any efforts to improve Ohio’s open records and open meetings laws.
This is important work. Every Bulletin has several stories about battles over open government and, indeed, today’s Bulletin is no exception. Take a look, and you’ll see what I mean.
Ohio Coalition for Open Government is a member of NFOIC. --eds.