A Better Region 8: Arkansas' Freedom of Information Act - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

A Better Region 8: Arkansas' Freedom of Information Act

(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)

"The more that government becomes secret, the less it remains free." That's a quote from James Wiggins in 1956 when he was an editor for the Washington Post.  Back then, he fought for public access to secret government records on the local, state and federal level.

There are thousands of records—many you don’t even know about--that you can see. 

In Arkansas, we have something called the Freedom of Information Act, passed in 1967 and signed by Governor Winthrop Rockefeller.  It is one of the most comprehensive in the country and it provides you, me, and all other Arkansans access to information.

All state organizations, government agencies and employees, state universities and, basically, any information that is generated with our tax dollars fall under the Arkansas law.

That means all records in all mediums are open and accessible with very few restrictions. When asked, the individual or agency has three days to produce the requested records unless they are part of an active law enforcement investigation.

The Freedom of Information Act or "FOIA" law has exposed hundreds of stories over the years, but the main result is that we the people can see what is happening with government employees and institutions.

Here's the thing to remember: Region 8 News, as a journalistic organization, has a mission of holding those in power accountable.  We work hard, as do other true journalistic entities, to make sure that our government employees and organizations don't work in the cover of darkness and anonymity. The job of the journalist is to shine a light on what happens with our tax dollars and to make sure no information is withheld. 

I applaud Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge for upholding and protecting this law.  Know that we will use it responsibly in our efforts to make this a better-informed Region 8.

- Chris Conroy, KAIT VP & General Manager

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Watch Region 8 News On Demand: On your Desktop | On your Mobile device

Region 8 News App - Install or update on your: iPhone | Android

  • Region 8 News</span><a class="customMoreLink" href="/Global/category.asp?C=4391" target="_top">More >></a>Region 8 NewsMore>>

  • breaking

    Earle police officer killed in crash

    Earle police officer killed in crash

    Sunday, February 25 2018 12:48 PM EST2018-02-25 17:48:21 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 12:54 PM EST2018-02-25 17:54:03 GMT
    (Source: Raycom Media)(Source: Raycom Media)

    An Earle police officer died early Sunday in a car crash, according to a post on Crittenden County Sheriff Mike Allen's Facebook page. 

    An Earle police officer died early Sunday in a car crash, according to a post on Crittenden County Sheriff Mike Allen's Facebook page. 

  • Weekend storms leave damage, flooding threat

    Weekend storms leave damage, flooding threat

    Sunday, February 25 2018 10:13 AM EST2018-02-25 15:13:26 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 12:24 PM EST2018-02-25 17:24:31 GMT
    The city of Keiser received damage Saturday night from severe weather that hammered the region. (Source: traviss22 via Twitter)The city of Keiser received damage Saturday night from severe weather that hammered the region. (Source: traviss22 via Twitter)

    The severe weather that hammered Northeast Arkansas Saturday had emergency crews out working Sunday to restore power and check on damage in the aftermath of the storms. 

    The severe weather that hammered Northeast Arkansas Saturday had emergency crews out working Sunday to restore power and check on damage in the aftermath of the storms. 

  • breaking

    Red Cross responding to damage in Malden, MO

    Red Cross responding to damage in Malden, MO

    Sunday, February 25 2018 12:01 PM EST2018-02-25 17:01:09 GMT
    (Source: cNews)(Source: cNews)

     4 people have moderate injuries after a storm blew through Malden on Saturday, February 24.

     4 people have moderate injuries after a storm blew through Malden on Saturday, February 24.

Powered by Frankly