America's Newspapers endorses Arkansas government transparency initiatives


America's Newspapers, a leading advocate for the nation's newspaper industry, enthusiastically endorses the Arkansas Government Disclosure Act of 2024 and the proposed Arkansas Government Disclosure Amendment. These initiatives represent a critical step forward in protecting the public's fundamental right to access government records and proceedings and to make government actions more transparent.

The Arkansas Government Disclosure Act aims to make state and local governments more transparent and accountable to the citizens they serve. Provisions like establishing a clear definition of public meetings, allowing courts to levy penalties for noncompliance with records requests, and requiring timely disclosure of public records align with best practices and the principles of open government. The Arkansas Government Disclosure Amendment of 2024 will enshrine the right to government transparency into the state Constitution.

“A free press and robust local journalism rely on open records and open meetings to spur civic engagement, root out corruption, and hold officials answerable to the people,” said Dean Ridings, CEO of America’s Newspapers. “These critical Arkansas proposals recognize the important relationship between transparency and a healthy democracy.”

America's Newspapers commends the civic leaders behind these efforts to strengthen Arkansas' freedom of information laws. We urge all Arkansans who value government accountability and the public's right to know to sign these initiatives and then vote affirmatively.  Open government is a cause that transcends political partisanship. It is a universal principle that benefits all citizens when their states and municipalities operate with maximum transparency. America's Newspapers stands firmly behind measures that strengthen this ideal.

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