Sunshine is good in two ways.
Ketchikan likes to see the sun, like it has over the past few days. In the rainforest like that in which the First City is located, clear blue skies come as a premium.
But there’s sunshine, and then there’s sunshine.
In the latter reference, it is in terms of open government.
This past week has been Sunshine Week. It culminates today with Freedom of Information Day.
The American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press created Sunshine Week.
But freedom of information is much more than a reporters’ and editors’ issue; more than a newspaper’s concern.
It is the basis of democracy. Through access to government information, the people enjoy the ability to participate in their government. That access also checks potential abuse of government power.
Freedom of Information Day — today — is the birthdate of the fourth president of the United States, James Madison, who participated in the U.S. constitutional convention.
Madison ardently supported the freedoms of religion, speech, and of the press in the First Amendment to the constitution, recognizing their necessity in a democratic society.
The amendment has served the people well. As does the sunshine.